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Donated by 

The Redemptorists of 
the Toronto Province 

from the Library Collection of 
Holy Redeemer College, Windsor 

University of 
St. Michael s College, Toronto 



I .A f 






FROM A.D. 1601 TO 1874. 










Serviro Christo et Ecolesiae, in sanctitate et * 
justitia co ram ipso, omnibus diebus nostril. 
Motto of the Congregation of Jesus ami 










Dear Son, Health and Apostolical 


Your position in society, my dear son, 
lias made the more welcome to Us the 
work which you have written concerning 
the life and good deeds of your great- 
uncle, John Eudes, that most Apostolic 
Missionary. For We have considered it 
not a slight proof of your religious senti 
ments, that amidst military cares you 
have preserved that relish for spiritual 
things, which has made you consider pre- 
ferahle to all worldly glory the noble 
virtues of a servant of God, his zeal, his 
apostolic labours, and the new institutes 
which he founded for the salvation of his 


neighbour ; of which institutes experience 
Las proved the value. We therefore con 
gratulate you, that, looking to the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls, you have, 
after great research, presented these to the 
piety of the faithful in a copious narra 
tive ; and We pray that your work may 
have abundant fruit. In assurance 
whereof, and as a pledge of Our paternal 
favour, We give you with sincere affection 
Our Apostolic Benediction. 

Given at Rome, at St. Peter s, on the 
9th day of February, 1870, in the 24 
year of Our Pontificate. 

Pius PP. IX. 


The life of the priest, like that of the 
soldier, is a warfare. Courage, endurance, 
self-abnegation, and perseverance, are the 
special virtues of each calling. 

Differing, as they do, in education and 
habits, they find a point of contact in 
sacrifice: the minister of the last sacra 
ments has often met his death on the 
battle-field, as he knelt beside a penitent 
who had fallen to rise no more. 

A close relationship exists between 
these two careers, and they are united by 
common sentiments, which shine forth in 
all their greatness in the midst of the 


most terrible scenes. 

A soldier now ventures to take up his 
pen, hitherto devoted solely to military 
subjects, and to relate, as best he may, the 
life of his great-uncle, the holy Father 
Eudes, founder of the Congregation of 


Jesus and Mary; of the order of our Lady 
of Charity of the Eefuge, and of the third 
order of the Daughters of the Sacred 
Heart of Mary. The traditions of that 
life still direct the steps of his spiritual 
children; we see them still devoting them 
selves to the education of the youth of 
Prance, and ever burning more and more 
brightly with the fire of charity and the 
love of God. 

The illustrious Bishop of Orleans tells 
us that a rare combination of qualities is 
required in order to write the life of a 
saint, and that special qualifications are 
needed to narrate it in such a manner as 
to satisfy the claims of piety and to avoid 
the delusions which he has often remarked 
in such works. The summary which he 
gives of these circumstances and qualifica 
tions might well fill us with alarm, did 
we not remember that he who fights 
valiantly, is even in defeat worthy of 
honour. " In the first place," says Mgr. 
Dupanloup, with his exquisite perception 
of what befits the subject, " in the first 
place, there must be love for the saint ; 
then the requisite time and labour must 
be employed in a thorough study of his 


soul and life, by means of contemporary 
sources and documents ; tliat soul must 
be delineated, its struggles described, tbe 
different workings of nature and grace 
discriminated, in a simple, truthful, clear, 
and dignified style, with all those details 
which bring the saint and his times vividly 
before the mind, always giving him the 
prominent place; artistic skill is needed 
for the arrangement of the facts."* 

Can we in our first undertaking of the 
kind hope to reach such a standard ? 

We have placed our work under the 
patronage of Jesus and Mary, and we 
hope also for that of the eminent prelates 
whose dioceses were for so many years the 
scene of Eather Eudes 5 labours, particu 
larly the Bishop of Bayeux, who directs 
the enquiries for his beatification, and the 
Bishop of Seez, one of whose parishes was 
the birthplace of this great servant of 
God. We cannot refrain from here ex 
pressing our feelings of devotion and 
veneration for Mgr. Pillion, our Bishop, 
by whose good will and precious affection 
our courage has been sustained. 

* Lettre de Mgr. TEveqne d Orleans a M. Fabbe Bougaud 
auteur de 1 histoire de Ste. Chantal j Orleans, 15 Mai, 1863. 


The Very Rev. Father Gaudaire, su 
perior-general of the Hfudisfo, and repre 
sentative of their holy founder, has given 
us access to the manuscript Annals of the 
Congregation, dating from the year 1643 ; 
we have thus enjoyed the privilege of inti 
mate acquaintance with religious who 
have long passed away from this earth, 
and have heen ahle to trace the ever 
onward march of the Order of Our Lady 
of Charity of the Hefuge, and the Order 
of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shep 
herd, whose principal monastery, founded 
in 1829 at Angers, from that at Tours, 
was made by - Gregory XVI. the mother- 
house of the Order, and is the head of all 
houses which may hereafter be founded 
throughout the world. 

We beg the Very Rev. Father Gaudaire 
to accept the expression of our heart-felt 
gratitude, not only for the paternal kind 
ness with which he received us at St. Sau- 
veur de Redon, but also for having put us 
in a position to celebrate the virtues of our 
ancestor, by a record of "facts and ac 
tions/ such as is recommended by Abbe 
Fleury,* and for having enabled us to 

* Letter of the Abbe Fleury to Father Costil, annalist of the 


retrace tlie course of that eventful 17th 
century, which calls forth the astonishment 
and enthusiasm of every student, and one 
of whose wonders was Father Eudes. 

Our undertaking is a daring one, hut 
duty requires it. Sursum Corda ! 


La Fleche, 9th January, 1869. 

Congregation of Jesus and Mary, on the manner of writing the 
lives of pious persons : 

" I have always disapproved of the method of modern authors, 
who, after writing the life of a saint or other illustrious person, 
give a treatise on his virtues as a separate thing. They ought 
to be exhibited by facts and actions. It is not worth while to 
write a life of mere thoughts and reflexions. Facts must be 
given as circumstantially as possible. I have done this accord 
ing to my power in the notices of the Lives of the Saints, con 
tained in my Ecclesiastical History. You have gratified me and 
done me honour by consulting me on this important subject, 
and I hope you may deem my reply satisfactory. liecommeiid- 
ing myself to your pious sacrifices, I remain, sir, &c., 


In obedience to the decree of Urban 
VIII., we declare that, wherever we have 
spoken in this book, of Father Eudes or 
any other as holt/, venerable, or a great 
servant of God, we attach to these expres 
sions no other meaning than that which 
they bear in theological language. 

"We have no intention of forming a 
judgment on any question whatsoever, 
reserved by the Holy See, to which we 
shall always consider it an honour to be 
entirely subject. 


Since this volume was written the cause of 
the canonization of Venerable Father Elides 
has made rapid progress. In the matter of the 
canonization of her saints the Church generally 
moves with no hasty step. She waits in her 
wisdom the march of events, and the develop 
ment of what may throw light on the path she 
should pursue. It is only a few years back, 
that is, on February 7th, 1874, that the first 
step towards the canonization of Father Eudes 
received its completion, by his being solemnly 
declared Venerable by Pope Pius IX., of happy 
memory. In 1867 this holy Pope, when reading 
the life of the servant of God, had been struck 
with a great admiration for the grandeur of his 
work, his character, and his virtues. In the 
following year he received to an audience some 
of the Eudist Fathers, and he then urged them 
to make no delay in setting on foot the cause of 
Father Eudes 5 canonization. 

Words from such a quarter naturally came 
with weight, like a command ; so, in the April 
of that same year, 1868, Father Gaudaire, 
Superior- General of the Eudist Congregation of 


Jesus and Mary, in the name of liis own Insti 
tute, as well as of the Order of our Lady of 
Charity of Refuge, and of the Society of the 
Admirable Heart of the Mother of God, ap 
pointed one of his fathers as Postulator of the 
cause of canonization. The demand for the first 
process was addressed to the Bishop of Bnyeux, 
iu whose diocese was the tomb of Father Eudes. 
The opening of the process was announced for 
August 19th, the anniversary day of Father 
Eudes 5 happy passage. The first sitting took 
place- in the chapel attached to the bishop s 
palace, and the oath was then administered to 
those who were to give evidence. The second 
session was held in the same place, and the 
Postulator then gave into the hands of the com 
mission a statement of the different things which 
he was intending to bring evidence on, which 
might be summed up in these three : first, that 
Father Eudes had always had the reputation of 
sanctity; secondly, that his virtues were heroic; 
and thirdly, that divers favours had been ob 
tained through his intercession. 

In the ordinary course of matters it would be 
n, considerable time before the Venerable Father 
Eudes would receive the additional glory of 
beatification. But Pope Leo XIII. casts a 
pitying eye on the prevailing miseries of France, 
and is anxious to give her new advocates and 
protectors, by raising some of God s servants 


belonging to that nation to the honours of 
canonization. Amongst those distinguished 
servants of God His Holiness has designated in 
a special manner the Venerable John Eudes, for 
from his intercession he expects much for the 
salvation of France. The Congregation of Rites 
has lately concluded a long and important 
examination into the cause of Father Eudes, and 
it has declared that this venerable man was 
regarded as a saint during his life, and that his 
memory has been held in veneration in the 
Church. It has proclaimed, in fine, in a general 
manner, that it is clear that this great servant 
of God has practised all Christian virtues in an 
eminent degree, and that God has deigned to 
grant, through his intercession, many truly 
miraculous favours. This sentence of the Sacred 
Congregation of Rites was approved and signed 
by his Holiness on the 10th of May, 1883. This 
is a matter of real joy to all the children of the 
Venerable Father Eudes, and indeed to all 
Catholics, and we may hope soon to see this 
holy man added to the glorious list of the beati 
fied servants of God. 



16011615. PAGHS 

Inauguration of the medallions of the three brothers Eudes, 
at Ei, their birth-place, 1853. Statue of Eudes de 
MeSeray, perpetual secretary and member of the French 
Academy, in the Place du Louvre. Monument erected to 
the three brothers in the Place at Argentan, 1866. Isaac 
Eudes, and Martha Corbin, his wife. Birth of John 
Eudes, of his brothers and sisters. His childhood and 
early education. He enters the Jesuits College at Caen. 
His conduct, his success. He returns to Ei. His voca 
tion. Opposition of his parents. He receives the tonsure 
and Minor Orders ... ... ... ... ... 1 



State of society in France at the beginning of the seven 
teenth century. John Eudes parents permit him to fol 
low his vocation. He is admitted into the Congregation 
of the Oratory, March, 16-J:j. Object of this Congregation. 
M. de Berulle makes him preach the word of God. 
His success. He is ordained sub-deacon on the 21st 
December, 1624, deacon in Lent, 1625, and priest in the 
following December. His first mass. Francis Eudes de 
Mezeray, and Charles Eudes du d Houay ... ... 16 



Political movements. Eichelieu. Father Joseph. Aus 
terities of Father Eudes. His illness. Eetreat at the 
Seminary of our Lady of Aubervilliers. Studies during 
this retreat. The plague in France. At Ecouche. Self- 
devotion of Father Eudes and of Father Laureus, parish 
priest of St. Christophe. The plague at Argentan, Father 
Eudes hastens there. The plague at Caen. Heroic 
charity of Father Eudes. He takes up his abode amongst 
the plague-stricken. The saint s meadow. The plague in 
the house of the Oratory at Caen. Illness of Father 
Eudes. Letter from the Carmelites at Caen. Francis 
Eudes de Mezeray, Charles Eudes du d Houay ... .., 30 



1632 ] 641. PAGB 

Pulpit eloquence at the beginning 1 of the XVIIth century. 
Father Eudes success as a pieacher. Mgr. de Matignon, 
Bishop of Coutances ; missions in his diocese. Union of 
prayers with the Carmelites of Caen. Mgr. d Angennes, 
Bishop of Bayeux ; missions in his diocese. Mgr. de 
Harlay de Sancy, Bishop of St. Malo, formerly an Ora- 
torian ; missions in his diocese. Many Protestants con 
verted. Mission at Fresne, in the diocese of Bayeux; 
mission at Ri, Father Eud-s birth-place. Francis Eudes 
de Mezeray, and Charles Fades du d Houay. Admirable 
Belf-devotion of Charles Eudes du d Houay, plague at 
Argentan, 1638. Mission in the Church of St. Stephen, at 
Caen; success. Mgr. Cospean, Bishop of Lisieux ; mission 
in his diocese. 16-11, Father Eudes named Superior of the 
Oratory at Caen. Missions in the dioceses of Seez and 
of Coutances. Father Eudes establishes conferences for 
his missionaries and other priests ... ... ... 48 


Father de Condren, Superior General of the Oratory, his 
virtues. Fervour of Father Eudes. Death of Father de 
Condren. Father de Bourgoing, his successor, 1611. 
Father Eudes endeavours to provide an asylum for 
penitent women ; beginning of the Order of our Lady of 
Charity of the Refuge. Richelieu and the seminaries. 
Constantly recurring difficulties with regard to their es 
tablishment in France. Mgr. de Harlay, Archbishop of 
Rouen, appoints Father Eudes head of all missions in 
Normandy. Father Eudes superiors endeavour to keep 
him away from that province. Persecutions and calum 
nies. Cardinal Richelieu sends for Father Eudes . 63 




Father Eudes calmness and firmness. Cardinal de Richelieu 
directs Mgr. Beaumont de Perefixe to consult with 
Father Eudes regarding the letters patent necessary for 
the erection of seminaries. Father Eudes takes the ad 
vice of his friends about leaving the Oratory. Death of 
Cardinal de Richelieu. Father Eudes decides to establish 



his first seminary at Caen ; his future fellow-labourers. 
Father Endes definitely leaves the Oratory on the 26th 
March, 1643. Congregation of Jesus and Mary. Regret 
and dissatisfaction of the members of the Oratory. 
Seminaries in general. Principal festivals of the Congre 
gation. Different missions. Proceedings of Mirr. de 
Matignon and Mgr. d Angennes. Death of Louis XIII. 
Its consequences. Attacks on Father Eudes. Father 
Mannoury starts for Rome. Death of Isaac Eudes. 
Francis Eudes de Mezeray and Charles Eudea du 
d Houay ... ... ... ... ... 85 



Father Mannoury at Rome. Jansenists there. After in- 
effectual efforts he is recalled by his superior in 1645. 
Assembly of the clergy of France, in 1645. Request pre 
sented by Father Eudes to this assembly. He frames his 
constitutions. Fresh troubles. Memorial against Father 
Endes, presented to the Queen by the Oratorians. 
Various missions. Death of Mgr. d Angennes. Serious 
illness of Father Eudes ; his recovery. Mission at Autun, 
in 1648; its results. The great men of the Church, and 
the women who have helped them. Missions. Mgr. Mole 
succeeds Mgr. d Angennes in the See of Bayeux. His 
prejudice against Father Eudes. Constant support of 
Mgr. de Hai lay, Archbishop of Rouen. Father Eudes 
presents a memorial to the Queen, touching the troubles 
of the time. Mezeray and Charles d Houay ... ... 112 



Father Mannoury s second journey to Rome. Support of 
the King, the Queen, and M. de Fontenoy, the Ambassa 
dor. Pope Innocent X. approves the Seminary at Caen. 
Purchase of the house called the Old Mission. Mgr. Mole 
prohibits the missionaries from acting in his diocese. 
Various missions in the diocese of Coutances. Death of 
the Baron de Renty. Illness of Father Eudes, his re 
covery. Missions in 1650. Persecution from Mgr. Mole. 
Mgr. Auvry entrusts the direction of his Seminary to 
Father Eudes. Mgr. Mole gives his approval to the insti- 
tution of the Daughters of our Lady of Charity of the 
Refuge, February 8, 1651. Temporary direction of thia 
community by the nuns of the Visitation. Mother Patin. 
Mgr. Mole deprives Father Eudes of the direction of 
this house, and gives it to Father Legrand. parish priest 
of St. Julien, at Caen ... 131 



1651. 1658. PAGE 

Father Eudes invited by Father Olier to preach a mission 
at St. Sulpice. Father Olier announces him from the 
pulpit as the marvel of his age. Moral condition of the 
Faubourg St. Germain. Death of Mgr. Mole, Bishop of 
Bayeux. 1653. The chapel of the Seminary at Caen re 
opened. Mgr. Servien, Bishop of Bayeux. This prelate 
is prejudiced against the Eudists. Father Eudes suc 
ceeds in dispelling his prejudices. Mgr. de Matignon 
transferred to the See of Lisieux. He entrusts his Semi 
nary to the Eudists. The Ursulines at Lisieux choose 
Father Eudes for their director. Father Eudes constitu 
tions. M. Blouet de Camilly. Fresh persecutions. 
Affair of Marie Desvallees. The Bishop s favourable 
judgment. Success of several missions. Mgr. Servien a 
support henceforth assured.. Mezeray and the French 
Academy. Queen Christina of Sweden. Eulogy of the 
three brothers, by M. Patin, Kector of the French Aca 
demy, 1866 ... ... ... ... 152 



Mgr. Harlay de Chanvallon, Archbishop of Eouen, offers 
Father Eudes an establishment in that city. Father 
Dufour, priest of Aulnay, a Jansenist, and the Ursulines 
of Caen : accusation against Father Eudes. His modera 
tion with regard to the Jaiisenists. Troubles in the Con 
gregation. Plan of instruction for the Caen Seminary ; 
conditions made by the town. Mgr. Servien, Bishop of 
Bayeux, gives his approbation to the Feast of the Sacred 
Heart of the Mother of God, January 17, 1659. Missions. 
Hermitage at the Ursuline Convent. Mission at Quinze 
Vingts in Paris, 1660. Mission preached before the Queen 
at St. Germain des Pres ; Father Eudes success ... 170 



Father Eudes sends Father Boniface to "Rome to solicit the 
approbation of the Holy See for his Congregation. Im 
prudent proceedings of this envoy. Father Eudes 
preaches before Queen Anne of Austria, in the church of 
the Benedictines of the Blessed Sacrament. Three 
Eudists sent to China; their death. The Carmelites at 
Caen choose Father Eudes for their superior. Divers 
missions. The first stone of the seminary at Caen is laid. 
Father Eudes visit to the Monastery of Clairvaux. 
The institution of the Daughters of our Lady of Charity 
of the Refuge erected into a Eeligious Order, the 22nd 



January, 1666. Vows taken by the Religions on the 
Feast of the Ascension, 1665 ; Father Eudes sermon. 
The Order spreads to Rennes, Hennebon, Vannea, Tours 
and La Rochelle ; general assembly of the Order at the 
Monastery of Caen. Nuns of our Lady of Charity of the 
Refuge in Paris : their establishment. Father Eudes 
two brothers from 1660 to 1666 ... ... ... 184 



Divers missions. Mgr. de Maupas gives his Seminary to 
the Eudists, 1667. Missions. Mgr. de la Vieuville, 
Bishop of Rennes, entrusts the direction of his Seminary 
to the Eudists, 1670. The solemn celebration of the 
Feast of the Adorable Heart of Jesus Christ, on the 31st 
of August, and that of the Heart of Mary, on the 8th 
of February. Father Fudes forms, at Rennes, the Society 
of the Children of the Admirable Mother, of the third 
Order of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge. Father 
Eudes goes to Paris in 1671, on business connected with 
the Congregation. Visits Mgr. de Harlay, Archbishop 
of Pari.s ; is chosen by this prelate to give a mission 
at Versailles, ordered by Louis XIV. Father Eudes and 
Mascaron at Versailles. He is presented to Louis XTV. 
Results of this mission. The parish and community of 
St. Josse. Mgr. de Maupas asks for Father Eudes as hia 
coadjutor. Father Eudes numerous occupations. His 
intercourse with Madame FranQoise Renee de Lorraine, 
Abbess of Montmartre. The feast of the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus is celebrated for the first time in the Congrega 
tion, in 1673. The first authorization of this feast due to 
Father Eudes, not, as has been supposed, to the Venerable 
Margaret Mary Alacoque. Father Eudes summoned by 
the king, to give a mission at St. Germain, March llth, 
1673. Father Eudes sends Father Bonnefont to Rome. 
His enemies discover Father Boniface s memorial in the 
chancellor s office at Rome. This memorial sent to Louia 
XIV. Father Eudes exiled to Normandy, he disowns the 
memorial. The king continues inflexible. Father de 
Bonnefont returns to Rome. Father Eudes last mission 
at St. Lo 204 



Father Eudes illness. Request to the king in 167S. The 
king summons him to Paris. He is presented by Mgr. de 
Harlay. The king receives him kindly. His infirmities 
increased by this journey. Death of his brother, Charles 
Eudes du d Houay. General assembly, 26th June, 1680. 
Father Eudes asks for a successor. Father Blouet de 
Camilly appointed Superior General. Father Eudes hu 
mility. His last illness, and his death, August 19, 1680. 
Respect shown to his memory. His funeral. His virtues. 
His portrait by Father le Beurier. His eulogy by Mgr. 



Huet. Eefutation of the opinion expressed by the learned 
prelate in his book, Oi igines de Caen. Three principal 
characteristics of Father Eudes. Death of Francis Eudes 
de Mezeray. Words of Pius IX. in regard to Father 
Eudes ... ... 225 



Superiors General from 1680 to 1792. Their government. 
The Congregation of Jesus and Mary at the time of the 
French Revolution. Father Hebert, coadjutor of Father 
Cousin, Superior General, and director of the house in 
Paris, is named confessor to Louis XVI. Is martyred 
with nine of his brethren at the Carmes, on the 2nd of 
September, 1792. Different foundations in which members 
of the Congregation have co-operated ... ... ... 241 




Exhumation of Father Eudes ; his remains transferred to 
the Chnrch of La Gloriette, at Caen. Destination of the 
old Eudist establishments. The Congregation re-con 
stituted by the efforts of Father Elan chard, an old 
Eudist. Its progress since 1826. Superiors General. 
Institutions directed by the Eudist fathers in 1869. 
Orders of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and of our 
Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, from 1792 to 1869 
Conclusion ... ... ... ... ... . 274 


Page 20 line 43, note, for Historic read Histoire. 

22 line 35, note, for Suite read Bull. 

line 40, note, for propricB read proprie. 

24 line 23, for neques read nequeo. 

43 line 33, note, for Visconti read Vicomte. 

46 line 25, for satis dicitur read satis discitur. 

50 line 33, note, for religiousus read religiosiut. 

spiriiu w read Spiritus vi. 

74 line 27, for Lilii read Liliis. 

line 36, note, for Fran$aus read Franfais. 

97 line I, for cordi, read corde. 

106 line 22, note, for exercices piete, read exercices de piett. 

line 45, note, for Vie de La ou, read La vie de. 

153 line 25, for Mazazin read Mazarin. 

239 line 39, note, for Pius Tape read Piu* Papa. 

252 line 27, for ready ty read ready to. 

256 line 16, for lejanenisme read le jansenitme. 







The principal people of the neighbourhood, and 
the members of the family of Eudes, were invited 
by the Comte de Yigneral to assemble at his 
chateau of Hi, in the canton of Putanges, on the 
llth of September, 1853, for the inauguration of 
the medallions of the three brothers Eudes, on the 
largest gable of a school-house, close to tbe little 
church, where, in the early part of the XVIIth 
century, they had been made Christians, and 

under the shadow of an ancient elm tree said to 


liave been planted by Mezeray on the day that 
Louis XIV. was born.* 

Why was such honour paid, after the lapse of 
two hundred years, to these children of the com 
mune of Ri ? John Eudes, the eldest, was founder 
of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, of the 
Order of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and 
of the third order of the Daughters of the Sacred 
Heart of Mary ; he shines with a glory like that 
of Cardinal de Berulle and St. Vincent de Paul ; 
the second made the name of Fran 90*8 de Mezeray 
illustrious by his indefatigable labours ; he be 
came historiographer to the king, member and 
perpetual secretary of the French Academy. The 
third, Charles Eudes du d Houay, clung to his 
native soil, and lived in sight of his own church 
tower ; followed, with much honour, his father s 
profession of surgeon,! dwelt in the town of Argen- 
tan, made a happy and advantageous marriage, 
saved money, bought a house, and kept his pater 
nal inheritance intact ; he was ever ready for the 
labours, as well as the honours of municipal autho 
rity, and defended small privileges and small liber 
ties of his native town as a sacred trust committed 
to him.t 

* A medallion by the author, in which these three are repro 
duced gained a silver medal at the Avranches Exhibition, 1854, 
and was sold on behalf of the monument since erected on the 
Place at Argentan. It bears the legend, predicat, scribit, et ego 

t Speech of M. G. Levavasseur at the inauguration of the 
monument of Mezeray, on the Place at Argentan. (Sep. 1866.) 

t Comte de Grancey, Marshal of France, and governor of 
Argentan wished to demolish a certain tower at Argentan. It 
contained a clock which had been given to the town by Mary Of 
Spain Countess of Alencon. The inhabitants were much at 
tached to the tower and the clock, on grounds of public defence 
and utility. The proposed measure caused general dissatisrac- 
tion but no one presumed to take the initiative in opposing so 
powerful an authority. Charles Eudes, alone, had courage to 
present the petition of the inhabitants to the governor, and to 


Public gratitude has always associated the old 
magistrate with the venerable religious and the 
illustrious author. 

The fete at Hi was a prelude to yet greater 
honours, and now, when the descendants of those 
three brothers cross the Place du Louvre, they 
bow before the figure of him who is called, in the 
world of literature and art, old Mezeray ; there he 
stands, with his style in one hand and his tablets 
in the other, as if watching from that height the 
course of passing events, and ready to write them 
down for the benefit of posterity. 

The erection of a monument to the three Eudes 
on the principal Place at Argentan had long been 
under contemplation, and at last, after many diffi 
culties, it was completed in September, 1866. 

The life of Father Eudes has a special interest 
for tbose who dwell in our beautiful Normandy, 
where he went about preaching the Word of God, 
and spent himself in labours, undaunted by dis 
tance or by the complete want of means of com 
munication, which made travelling in those days 
so full of difficulty. 

Let us bear in mind that these monuments are 
not mere ornaments of our public squares ; they 
read a great lesson to youth, which, in its im 
patience to reach the goal, never calculates the 
intervening distance. They seem to say, Be like 
Eudes de Mezeray, whose first law was labour. 
Be like Father Eudes, whose spiritual children are 
still preaching the Word of God, while the Daugh 
ters of Charity continue to succour souls in peril, 

maintain their rights with undaunted energy. Illi robur et ces 
triplex circa pectus erat. 

The governor was enraged, and asked in astonishment who it 
was that dared to gainsay his orders ? Charles Eudes then made 
an answer, worthy of the best days of Athens or of Eome : " We 
are three brothers, who worship truth ; the eldest preaches it, 
the second writes it, and I will maintain it till my last breath." 
Speech of M. Berrier Fontaine, Mayor of Argentan. 


and to raise up souls that have fallen. Be like 
Charles Eudes du d Houay, whose memory is joined 
with that of Eustache de St. Pierre, and of Alain 
Blanchard, as an -example of readiness to sacrifice 
life itself on behalf of the great truths which up 
hold the present and future destinies of our race. 

And we, in our turn, are about to defend these 
great truths, by relating the holy life of Father 
Eudes. It seems to us just now as if we could 
more easily die for them. More than ever does 
our own weakness come before us, but from the 
south of France a voice we love reaches our ears. 
It exclaims,* " You will not give way." Forward, 
then ! To yield would not be like a Frenchman. 

" A traveller," says the author of St. Chantal s 
life, " who sets off very early in the morning, 
sometimes sees a beautiful light on the horizon 
before sun-rise, and such a dawn is to him a token 
of mid-day splendour. So is it with the historian, 
as he beholds the first appearance of those great 
luminaries the saints." 

And so is it with us, as we trace the rise and 
growth of this soul, which, from the first, seems 
so advanced in Divine things. 

God wished to save the XYIIth century from 
the evil heritage left to it by the XVIth, and 
therefore He spread out His forces, as we do when 
we would make the fire of our battalions take full 
effect. One after another He sent forth those who 
were to become its leaders. Cardinal de Berulle 
was born in 1565 ; St. Francis of Sales in 1567 ; 
St. Vincent de Paul in 1576 ; Father de Condi-en 
in 1588, and M. Oilier in 1608. Father Eudes, 
their disciple and friend, in 1601. 

At that time a worthy surgeon was living in a 
village of the parish of Hi, in the diocese of Seez, 
Lower Normandy. He had originally been destined 

* Baron G. de Flotke, Catholic writer and poet, Marseilles. 


for the priesthood, but when all Lis brothers were 
carried off by the plague of 1585, his self-devotion 
found another channel in the practice of medicine. 
He soon married a young woman, named Corbin, 
of good understanding and decided* character. 
They were both full of faith, and fervent in the 
practice of their religion. Isaac Eudes, indeed, 
had retained from his former vocation the custom 
of saying his breviary every day. 

But their happy union was not blessed by chil 
dren ; and it seemed that an honoured, though 
lowly name, was about to die ont.t 

Then they turned their thoughts to God, and 
promised to make a pilgrimage to our Lady of 
Recouvrances, in the parish of Tourailles, if He 
would graciously grant them posterity. Some 
time after this, Isaac took his staff and set off for 
Tourailles, accompanied by his wife, for they both 
longed to kneel before Mary s altar, and fulfil their 
vow, which had been accepted. 

This was in the month of February, 1601, and 
on the 14th of November, in the same year, a son 
was born, who was baptized by the name of John. J 
In course of time they had two other sons and 
three daughters ; the latter were all married. 

* A relation of Martha Corbin s having been unhappily killed 
in a duel, the authorities took measures to investigate the affair, 
according to the king s orders. Martha Corbin caused the body 
to be buried in a field belonging to her, and had the field, 
ploughed with such diligence that the officers, who arrived at 
Ei the next morning, could not make the necessary investiga 
tions. (P. Costil, Annales de la Congregation.) 

f No officer or nobleman dared to offer any insult by word or 
deed to any girl who was with this good couple. It is said that 
Isaac Eudes, in consideration of his services to the royal cause, 
had obtained from Henri IV. free entry for certain goods into 
eome towns of Normandy. 

I "If," Father Herambourg remarks, "If physicians are correct 
in their opinion that the soul is united to the body of a male 
child on the fortieth day after conception, the soul of Father 
Eudes must have been created on the 25th of March, the day on 
which the Word became incarnate for our salvation ; and the 
Blessed Virgin was raised to the honour of Divine Maternity." 


The posterity of Martha Corbin is not extinct ; 
their blood soon mingled with that of very noble 
families, and these same families are still glad to 
ally themselves with it : " Maxima in minimis." 

We learn from M. Levavasseur that " John 
Eudes, the child of predestination, always received 
his mother s pious instructions with docility ; he 
never knew the storms of youth; the cares, the 
rivalries, and tumults of the court and town; or the 
temptations of ambition." 

For John had chosen the better part ; and 
although he met with much opposition in carrying 
out his pious purposes, yet before he was called to 
give an account of the actions of his saintly life, 
he saw the field of his mission enlarged to an 
unexpected degree. 

In his pure childhood, as in that of Francis of 
Sales and of St. Chantal, were seen the germs of 
those virtues, hereafter to become so glorious in 
the sight of God. Like them, he had that faith 
that can move mountains ; and his faith, like St. 
Chantal s, was joined to a strength of soul capable 
alike of conflict and of resignation, to a generosity 
and divine ardour, which united him to those who 
were most holy as well as most distinguished by 
their position in the world. 

Madame de Chantal had not at first any pre 
sentiment of her future vocation, but St. Francis 
of Sales and John Eudes had but one desire in 
their childhood, one steadfast purpose in their 
youth, to devote themselves to God, to adore the 
Heart of Jesus, and to honour His Blessed Mother. 
There is a striking similarity between the early 
lives of these two chosen servants of God ; one a 
scion of a noble house in Savoy, and the other the 
son of a village surgeon. 

The opposition of their families had to be over 
come in both cases, and the desired victory was 


gained by submission and filial respect, such as is 
little known in the present day. 

Let us borrow from one who is richer than our 
selves, and use the words of Abbe Bougault :* 
" No doubt many elements of dissolution were 
already and had long been at work ; the general 
relaxation of morals so often pointed out by coun 
cils ; the wild cry of reform, which, by proclaiming 
the liberty of the flesh, had kindled all its pas 
sions ; the long and violent religious wars ; the 
writings of the * infamous Rabelais, as St. Francis 
of Sales called him, and of all his disciples : these 
causes and many others had unsettled society; 
nevertheless, at the period of which we write, the 
family preserved its integrity. It appears in all 
its strength, in the ancient and virginal beauty 
which Christianity had given it. Strong and 
generous fathers, energetic and fruitful mothers, 
numerous children, respect paid to paternal autho 
rity even in old age, by those who themselves had 
reached tbe prime of life, devotion to duty at any 
cost, domestic purity and joy ; all these were the 
sweet and holy results of Christianity. Alas ! 
they have vanished, and where shall we now look 
for them ?" 

How seldom do we see the eon bow to the 
father ! How rarely is the widow s will respected, 
as if the family had not lost its natural head ! 
How often those, whose lawful authority is set at 
nought, are driven back to painful memories of 
their own earlier days ! 

No doubt we have made progress in many ways; 
but while we willingly acknowledge this, we shall 
never fail on fitting occasions to point out the 
great and noble lessons to be learned from the 
errors of the past ! 

Let us return to the early years, during which 

* Histoire de Ste. Chantal. 


John Elides was being prepared for his future 
work. He was a child of prayer, a special gift of 
God, and already he seemed to wish to give him 
self wholly to God; he watched over his baptismal 
innocence, and, according to the testimony of his 
ordinary confessor, he never lost it. He was dis 
tinguished from other children of the same age, 
by acts of unusual virtue. When he was but nine 
years old, one of his companions, M. d Esdigueres, 
struck him.* John fell upon his knees, and 
turned his other cheek. The offender blushed, 
and showed his sorrow by making known this 
admirable instance of obedience to the counsel 
of the Gospel. f 

One day his parents were made uneasy by his 
long absence, and went to seek him, as Mary 
and Joseph went to seek Jesus ; they found him 
kneeling beside one of the pillars of the church, 
where he had gone to pray, and forgotten every 
thing else. 

At this time the intention of his parents was to 
bring him up to the hardy life of a husbandman, 
which was considered better suited to his delicate 
constitution than any calling involving great men 
tal labour. 

But his vocation carried all before it. Isaac 
Eudes ended by yielding to his entreaties, and it 
was a happy day for his son when he was en 
trusted to the care of an old priest of the sam e 
canton, named Jacques Blavette. The master 
was soon astonished at the rapid progress of his 
pious pupil. 

* The d Esdigueres family still live in the neighbourhood of 

f St. Francis of Sales one day begged that a servant in the 
Jesuits house, who had behaved very insolently to him, might 
be forgiven. As he continued to urge this request with much 
warmth, notwithstanding the refusal of his preceptor, M. Deage 
the latter gave him_a blow as his only answer. The holy youth 
who had fallen on his knees in the eagerness of his charity rose 
up as calmly as if he had gained his point. 


Important public events were now taking place 
in France. Henry IV. bad been assassinated on 
tbe 14th of May, 1610; tbe people in general 
mourned for bim, and no one felt bis death more 
deeply tban Isaac Eudes. 

External tranquillity still prevailed, but a leaven 
of revolt and insubordination was already at work, 
and tbe government of a queen regent was unable 
to arrest its progress. 

At twelve years of age Jobn E tides was allowed 
to make bis first Communion. He felt tbe full 
importance of tbis act, and it was tbe beginning 
of tbe undeviating course wbicb be followed with 
so mucb constancy and firmness. He wisbed, 
like tbe Jews of old, to gird up bis loins for tbe 
Pascbal Feast, and it soon became necessary to 
bold bim back from tbe premature engagements 
by wbich be would fain bave bound bimself. 
Every month be drew near to tbe Table of tbe 
Lord, giving an example little followed in those 
days of indifference.* 

Day by day his health became stronger. In 
1615 he completed his fourteenth year, and his 
parents, who had no longer any reason to fear the 
effects of study, decided to send him to tbe Jesuits 
College at Caen. His master, Fatber Robin, very 
soon proposed him as an example for tbe imita 
tion of bis fellow-students. He surpassed tbem 
all in wisdom and piety, and they all looked up to 
him, Fatber Herambourg tells us, as if he bad 
been one of their teachers. Tbe charm of his 
goodness wag felt even by the most bardened. 
He was holy, Father Herambourgt again tells us, 

* No record is to be found of the date of Father Eudes Con 
firmation, nor or of the name of the Prelate who administered 
that Sacramerrt to him. 

f Father Herambourg entered the Congregation of Jesua and 
Mary in 1682, at the age of twenty-one. The novice-master who 
formed him to the sacerdotal and religious life, was Father de 
Bonnefond, the best-loved disciple of Father Eudes. For years 


from the beginning of bis life. He was gifted 
with that excellent nature, called by tbe wise man, 
a good soul, and considered by tbeologians as one 
of tbe cbief signs of predestination, inasmuch as 
it is a predisposition to virtue, and facilitates ita 
acquisition and practice. From tbis time forth, 
those who watched over his soul rejoiced to see 
bis fear of sin, bis docile obedience to bis supe 
riors, and his great attraction for purity, prayer, 
and charity, the virtues which were to shine so 
brightly in his after life. 

During his holidays, John Eudes refreshed big 
heart and mind by devoting himself to exercises 
of piety. He recalls to our mind St. Francis of 
Sales, at the College of Annecy, where bis com 
panions used to say, as be drew near, " The saint 
is coming, let us be good." 

Such was bis course till bo attained bis 
eighteenth year, when be began to seek for guid 
ance concerning his future life. He thought there 
could be no surer way of gaming light than by 
entering the service of Mary in the Sodality 
established in her honour amongst the scholars, 
where be gave general edification by bis gentle 
piety, his perfect innocence, and bis unfailing 
regularity.* From tbis time, the tender devotion 
which he bad always had for our Lady grew 
deeper and stronger, so that it filled bis heart till 
the last moment of his life. It is to be seen in 
all bis writings. His thoughts constantly turned 
to the Blessed Yirgin. To hear of her glories 
made him happy, and soothed his greatest sorrows 

he had the privilege of the direction and companionship of those 
who had been most closely connected with our holy apostle. 
Father Eudes died in 168C ; he therefore saw the traces of his 
life while they were still recent, and has transmitted to us many 
most precious traditions. 

* St. Francis of Sales was admitted into the Congregation of 
the Blessed Virgin existing among the Jesuits. 


and pains.* He promoted devotion to Mary 
amongst those with whom he came in contact, 
especially amongst priests, because of their pecu 
liar relation to her. Father Costilf says, " He 
chose the Blessed Mother of God as his Mother, 
or rather as his spouse, and that he might never 
forget her, and might constantly keep this spiritual 
alliance in mind, he placed a ring on the finger of 
her image. We learn from his journal, | that from 
that day precious graces were bestowed upon him, 
and that it was made known to him that his 
Divine Patroness ratified the alliance." 

John Endes went through his course of rhetoric 
and of philosophy with the greatest success. "It 
was not then the custom to make light of this im 
portant science, whose object is to lay the first 
foundations of all belief, to direct the mind in its 
search for truth, to give those habits of accurate 
thought and solid reasoning which are a prepara 
tion for acting and speaking well, and a safeguard 
against the sophisms and false judgments which 
inundate society, and are the source of all kinds 
of evil. Four years were given to philosophy, 
and the most competent teachers were chosen to 
direct the study. 

The four precious years which complete the 
physical and intellectual development of youth, 
are now spent, even in the best institutions, iu a 
mere preparation for examinations, whose require 
ments are so onerous, that, when the candidate is 
no longer obliged to think of them, nothing is left 
in his mind, and his profession, with or without a 
vocation, is irrevocably decided. The sad results 
of this system are to be seen in the deep distaste 

* P. Herambourg, vertus da P. Eudes. 
f Annales de la Congregation de Jesus et de Marie. 
t Father Eudes journal is called " Memorial of God s bene 

Vie de St. Franyois a e gales. 


for serious reading so prevalent in France, in the 
absence of power of resistance, and in the great 
influence gained by books which pervert all princi 
ples of pure morality, and turn history into a 
wretched romance. 

The authentic attestation of Father de la Haye, 
prefect of the college at Caen, informs us that J. 
Eudes studied humanities for four years with 
great distinction, that he went through his course 
of philosophy, maintained his public theses with 
general applause, and that during this whole 
period his general deportment, his uprightness 
and modesty were most exemplary.* 

Despite the representations of his friends, he 
refused to take his degree; he looked on it as un 
necessary, and his only ambition was for the 
favour of God. Besides which, his humility 
shrunk from praise, the words of our Saviour, 
" Woe to you when men shall bless you," filled 
his soul with fear. Mihi confusio et ignominia, 
tlbi autem honor et gloria, was often on his lips, 
and yet more often in his heart. He wished that 
Le might become as nothing in the sight of all 
creatures, and that God alone might be seen in 
him.t His family anxiously looked forward to his 
return home, and had their own reasons for wish 
ing to keep him far from the honours he so little 

Francis of Sales, the son of a noble in Savoy, 
followed step by step the directions of his father, 
who had every reason to hope great things from 
])im. After he had completed his studies at the 
University of Padua, and received from Pancirola, 
the celebrated prince of jurisprudence, the ring and 
the privileges of the university, together with the 
doctor s crown and cap, he returned to his father s 

* Annales. 
t P. Herambourg, vertus. 


Louse, and contented himself with the title of 
advocate of the senate, in which he never took his 
seat.* He, like John Eudes, had found his voca 
tion, but he kept the precious secret until the 
moment came when it was God s will that he 
should make it known to his family. 

On John Eudes return home, he was assailed 
by prayers not easily to be resisted. The germ of 
lawful love is to be found in every heart, and a 
strong vocation was indeed required to silence the 
voice of passion, and to withstand the entreaties 
of a mother. But, as we have seen, John had 
already given his heart and soul to one who never 
has known, or can know, a rival in beauty and 

Isaac Eudes and Martha Gorbin had wished to 
bring about their son s marriage with a young 
person whose suitable fortune and good qualities 
seemed to promise a happy future. Bat they 
entreated in vain, and, at last, remembering that 
John was a present from Heaven, they left him free 
to follow the designs of Providence, hoping, how 
ever, still to keep him with them.f 

But John saw very well that the same thing 
might happen again, and, after having consulted a 
prudent director, he resolved on entering the 
ecclesiastical state, and thus securing the vow of 
chastity, which he had made at the age of fourteen, 
against any further parental persuasions. A high 
idea of the priestly state, and of the apostolic life, 
was the ruling principle of his actions ; he used 
often to say, " The greatest perfection, the most 

* Vie de St. Fran?ois de Sales. 

t A similar circumstance is recorded in the Life of St. Francis 
oi bales M. de Boisy, his father, in ignorance of his purpose, 
wished him to marry Mile, de Suchet, only daughter of the Lord 
of Vegy He brought Francis to her house, but, notwithstand 
ing his father s reproaches and her great attractions, he re- 
mamed cold and unmoved. " As for me," he wrote to a friend 

kod alone shall be my portion forever." (Vie de St. Franyoia 


exalted holiness, is binding on priests, especially 
on such as are called to the direction of souls ; 
\vhat, then, is to be said of those whose vocation 
it is to form priests?" This was his abiding feel 
ing ; by virtue of his holy calling, he considered 
himself as under an obligation to aim at the 
highest perfection.* 

Mgr. Le Camus, his bishop, who was conse 
crated in 1614, and died at Seez in 1650, gave 
him, after careful examination, the tonsure and 
minor orders, with a firm conviction that the 
Church was gaining a valuable servant. His en 
gagement was not yet irrevocable, but to him it 
was a step from which no turning back was pos 
sible. John Eudes had but one idea, to strengthen 
his vocation. This included everything, a desire 
to learn, to study theology as thoroughly as possible, 
to arm himself for the conflict, and then to take the 
field as God might direct him. 

He determined to spend three years in prepara 
tion, and to lose no time in adopting the mode of 
life best suited for the accomplishment of his 

What do we seek for in a life which is worthy 
of record? We have already answered, instruc 
tion for posterity. We try to scan the future, 
but we too seldom apply to the past for its exam 
ples of piety and strength. " What age ever 
needed them more?" asks the biographer of St. 
Chantal; "where has more feebleness of character 
ever been seen ? When were weak souls more in 
\vant of the bracing air of such examples?" 

It is true that we do meet with many fallen 
souls, with many degenerate hearts, impotent even 
in evil ; yet generous sentiments and noble impulses 
Lave not forsaken the youth of France. We have no 
need to despair, for, by the side of those who make 

* Constitutions de la Congregation de Jesus et de Marie j 
memorial de la Vie Ecclesiastique par le E. P. Eudes. 


a parade of their ignorance, their lawlessness, and 
their idleness, there is another band, often thinned 
by contagion, yet marching steadfastly on towards 
the future. Too often the state of society, the 
overcrowding of all careers, keep many from fol 
lowing that path in life to which they have the 
strongest attraction. A thirst for the quick and 
easy gains of hazardous speculation creates a dis 
taste for that serious labour, which, amidst all tbe 
varying tendencies of ages, ever remains the great 
law of humanity. But the other day M. Thiers 
spoke the following words : " When young men 
ask for advice from my experience, I answer, 
work: if you are ambitious you will succeed accord 
ing to the measure of your ability. Work! labour 
will make pleasure sweeter, and grief less bitter to 
yon. Labour is the greatest blessing God has 
bestowed upon man. It is the greatest object to 
be kept before nations as well as individuals.* 

Too seldom do we meet with these children or 
predestination, radiant from tbe very dawn of 
their existence with a divine glory which sbines 
on all things near them, showing their wondering 
teachers and school-fellows how grace can lead all 
ages to perfection. 





The final decision was made.; henceforth John 
Eudes bore the marks of Jesus Christ. His 
future battle-field was already staiued by san 
guinary religious wars, which continued to rage 
during part of the XVIIth century. " France had 
been too long led astray by the charms of novelty, 
licentiousness had paved the way for heresy. She 
Lad fallen from the frivolity of Francis I. to the 
intrigues of Marie de Medicis ; from the weakness 
of Charles IX. to the wickedness of Henry lit., 
and was on the verge of Protestantism. Happily, she 
had just awakened from her slumber, and, horror- 
struck at the abyss open before her, was preparing 
with characteristic ardour for the great battle be 
tween good and evil. The glare of the storm made 
manifest, not only the greatness of the peril, but 
the causes which had produced it. People were 
ignorant of religion, manners were corrupt, insti 
tutions in decay, scandals dishonoured the altar 
and invaded the cloister, prelates without zeal 
opened the sanctuary to priests without vocation, 
holy things were despised by the people, because 


they were profaned by unworthy ministers. 
Wounds like these could not be hidden; they drew 
sighs from many hearts, and roused others to a 
holy jealousy. Councils and assemblies of the 
clergy were gathered together to provide remedies. 
The fiery and impassioned harangues of the 
League were succeeded by preaching equally 
ardent and popular; but coming from holy lips, 
and appealing only to men s consciences."* 

And now, this hand to hand combat against 
heresy, ignorance, and corruption, is waged by St. 
Francis Regis in the Cevenues, by Father Eudes 
in Normandy, by Michael Noblez in Brittany, by 
Blessed Peter Fourrier in Lorraine, and by the 
great Cardinal Duperron in Paris. The Cardinal, 
with his sword at his side, had preached Mary 
Stuart s funeral oration, by order of the king, and 
we see him with surprise already master of a style 
which did not become general till sixty years 
later. Cesar de Bus promoted the education of 
poor children by founding the Congregation of the 
Fathers of Christian Doctrine, and the Venerable 
de la Salle s admirable Institution of Brethren 
was soon to arise, founded on the most perfect 

It was necessary to defend every point of the 
line of battle. Works were said to be of no avail 
for salvation ; Catholics multiplied them a 
hundred-fold. Thousands of Christians gave up all 
the pleasures of the world ; rich men made them 
selves poor, changed their costly apparel for serge, 
broke their knightly swords, and, with the cross in 
their hands, gathered round the Catholic banner, 
which the Dominicans, Jesuits, and others had 
planted on the breach. 

It seemed as if the Reformation would have 
destroyed the monastic life for ever, but it rose 

* Yie de Ste. Chantal. 


from its ruins : everywhere, and under many dif 
ferent forms, it was to be seen, acting, teaching, 
and consoling; everywhere it resisted heresy verbis 
et scriptis ; and many new orders were founded, 
each one with its own special mission. 

Such was the general state of the Church in 
the beginning of the 17th century, which was des 
tined to heal the deep and fearful wound left to 
it by its predecessor. 

Let us now confine our attention to the general 
moral condition of the parishes of Normandy, the 
future scene of Father Eudes constant and suc 
cessful labours. Here is to be found the ruling 
motive of all his important decisions throughout 
life, and the answer to the many attacks made 
against him. " The ignorance of the clergy, and 
the general desolation introduced into the pro 
vince seventy years before by Calvinism, caused 
the grossest ignorance among the people, and this 
in its turn led to a wide-spread corruption, such as 
will seem hardly credible to posterity. The clergy 
lived in continual idleness, and disregard of all 
the rules of external propriety : they dressed like 
laymen; the poorer among them entered into 
business, and worked as journeymen; the rich and 
well-born spent the revenues of their benefices in 
banquets, play, and other vanities. The people 
knew nothing of their religion, because sermons 
were very seldom preached. Aged persons re 
member the time when morning and evening 
prayer, and examination of conscience before con 
fession were unknown ; when people only went to 
church for mass on festivals, and considered this 
practice and abstinence from meat on the prescribed 
days to be the essentials of Christianity. They went 
to communion only at Easter, and few confessors 
deferred absolution even in the case of habitual 
Dinners. The most absurd superstitious gained 


ground, and the most horrible crimes and most 
shameful excesses were fearlessly committed."* 

The pure soul of John Eudes could not but be 
deeply touched at the contemplation of this sad 
state of things. He saw that the ecclesiastical 
order had fallen from its ancient splendour in 
consequence of the causes we have mentioned, and 
he resolved to leave his father s house, and to join 
a new institution which seemed to possess all the 
advantages he could desire as a priest, while it 
was exempt from many perils to be met with in 
the world. 

This institution was the Oratory. 

The shining virtues of their son had been a 
source of daily edification to Isaac Eudes and 
Martha Corbin, but the work that had been going 
on in his soul was hidden from them, and when he 
told them of his design, they resolved to prove a 
vocation which appeared to them too sudden, for 
they knew not that John s strength of purpose had 
been gained by constant intercourse with God in 
holy Communion and in visits to the Blessed 

They therefore refused their consent. 

But his vocation was so real that it outweighed 
his hitherto unfailing filial obedience. A few days 
after this refusal, which he considered irrevocable, 
he left his home on horseback, but his horse hav 
ing been ridden more rapidly, and to a greater 
distance than usual, stopped when he was some 
leagues beyond Ri, and could not be induced to go 
any further; John had perhaps reflected on the 
hastiness of his conduct, he went back to his 
parents, who were at length convinced, and left him 
free for the future.! 

* Annales de la Congregation. (P. Costil.) 

t A somewhat similar incident is related in the life of St. 

Francis of Sales. As he passed through the forest of Sonaz, on 

his return from Chambery to Annecy, his horse fell down three 

times, and three times his sword was loosened from his belt, and 


On the 16th of May, 1623, M. Berulle, after 
due trial, gave John Eudes the ecclesiastical dress, 
which, although he had received the tonsure, he 
had not yet adopted, a custom then unhappily too 
^common even among priests. From that day he 
always wore it, looking on the cassock as an 
.emblejn of His Master s death and an image of his 
.own burial. 

Again we must pause, for the Congregation of 
the Oratory claims a few words. It bears the 
traces of St. Francis of Sales, and we love to dwell 
on the different points of similarity between his life 
and that of Father Eudes. 

The Duchess of Longueville wished to establish 
in France Carmelite nuns of the reformed rule, 
which St. Theresa had introduced in Spain. She 
invited St. Francis, (at that time coadjutor of 
Claude de Granier, Bishop of Geneva,) Doctors 
Duval and Gallemant, and Fathers de Berulle and 
Bretigny, to assist her in carrying out this pious 

The Coadjutor of Geneva and M. de Berulle 
thus became acquainted, and learned to venerate 
each other. Francis of Sales, struck by the great 
clearness and precision of M. de Berulle s mind, 
urged him to undertake a work which he believed 
to be greatly needed in France. The training of 
the clergy was one of the chief objects of his soli 
citude ; he had made many ineffectual efforts for 
the establishment of a great seminary, and Rome 

crossed its sheath so as to form the sign of our salvation. 
Francis thought that perhaps the moment had now come for 
following the unvarying attraction which had ruled his heart 
from childhood. When he reached home he told his mother of 
his desire to enter holy orders. Mdme. de Boisy believed it to 
be from God, and had a cassock made ready for him to put on, 
as soon as his father s consent should be obtained. This was a 
work of difficulty. M. de Boisy, with all his strength of cha 
racter, could not resist the sight of his son weeping at his feet. 
Do what God requires of you," said he ; " who am I to resist 
Him ?" On the 15th of May, 1593, Francis of Sales put on his 
cassock. Historic de St. F. de S. 


had not answered his repeated prayers, but, during 
his intercourse with M. de Berulle, the idea of 
a society entirely devoted to the education of the 
clergy had occurred to his mind. This was the 
original object of the Congregation of the Oratory. 

Many and heterogeneous causes may have pro 
moted the progress of civilization in capitals, but 
throughout the country, and especially at that 
period, the clergy were necessarily the chief in 
struments of its diffusion. It was most needful 
that their moral tone should be raised, and their 
sentiments refined. Father Eudes fully under 
stood this necessity, and made it the business of 
his life to supply it. 

Father de Berulle, founder of the Congregation 
of the Oratory, was born in 1575, at the Chateau 
of Serilly, in Champagne. His father was Claude 
de Berulle, councillor in the parliament of Paris, 
and his mother, Louisa Segnier, aunt of the 
chancellor of that name ; after her husband s 
death she entered the Third Order of Franciscans, 
and ultimately became a Carmelite. Queen Mary 
of Medicis, with several princesses and great 
ladies of the court, attended her funeral. 

M. de Berulle is said to have made a vow of 
chastity at seven years of age. Father Eudes had 
the same desire at a very early period, though he 
was not permitted to accomplish it until he wai 

We need not wonder that M. de Berulle thanked 
God for having sent him such a neophyte. The 
holy founder determined on the establishment of a 
Congregation after the model of that of St. Philip 
Neri at Rome. St. Francis of Sales, St. Vincent 
of Paul, and the venerable Cesar de Bus, favoured 
the project; and it was carried into effect with 
the approbation of Henry de Gondi, Bishop of 
Paris, uncle of Paul de Gondi, better known as 
Cardinal de Ketz, whose sister, the Marquise de 


Magnetay, bad already provided a sum of fifty 
thousand livres for the foundation. 

In 1611, M. de Berulle gathered several priests 
together into a community, in the Hotel du 
Petit Bourbon, faubourg St. Jacques, whose site is 
now occupied by the Val de Grace. 

The first who joined Father de Berulle were 
Father J. Bance and James Gastaud, a doctor of 
theology of the faculty of Paris, Paul Metezeau, 
bachelor of the same faculty, Francis de Bour- 
going, afterwards General of the Congregation, and 
Father Cazan, parish priest of Beauvais. 

Louis XIII. granted letters patent to the new 
Congregation, and Pope Paul V. approved it under 
the title of the Oratory of Jesus, naming Father de 
Berulle general.* 

When M. de Berulle asked for the Bull of In 
stitution, the Pope would not allow him to ex 
clude the instruction of youth in polite literature. 
This fact clearly shows the founder s intention ; he 
did not mean to establish colleges, nor to undertake 
their direction, f 

His purpose was to form a society of ecclesi 
astics, practising evangelical poverty while they 
retained their possessions, performing the func 
tions of their calling, without seeking benefices 
or positions about the bishops, to whom, how 
ever, they were to be in complete subjection. 
Some of these ecclesiastics were associated, and 
others incorporated to the Congregation. The 
general was to choose the directors from among 
the former, the latter belonged to the Congrega 
tion only during the time necessary for their train- 

* Bulle of Institution of the Oratory, given by Paul V., 1613. 
" Primmn est, ut principale et prsecipuum institutum sit, per- 

fectioni status sacerdotalis totaliter incumbere Tertio, sacer- 

dotum et aliorum ad sacros ordines adspirantium instruction!, 
non tarn circa scientiam, quam circa usum scientiaB, ritus et 
mores, proprise ecclesiasticos se addicere." Yie de M. Oilier. 

t Vie de M. Oilier. 


ing in ecclesiastical life and manners. The study 
of theology or of profane literature did not enter 
into the original purpose, which was simply to lead 
priests to fulfil their holy functions with all pos 
sible perfection. 

The Oratory was, therefore, a purely ecclesiasti 
cal body. This was formally declared by Father 
de Condren, the worthy successor of Cardinal do 
Berulle, at the first general meeting of the Con 
gregation, in the following words : " As the Con 
gregation has heen chosen by God, and estab 
lished on earth, by our late revered father, prin 
cipally to honour the priesthood of the Son of 
God, this assembly decides that its condition is 
purely ecclesiastical, and that it must adhere to 
the institution of the priesthood, as given by our 
Lord to His Church, without any addition or 
omission, so that its subjects can never at any 
time, or in any future assembly whatever, ba 
obliged by any vows, whether solemn or simple ; 
and those who may endeavour to bind them by the 
said simple vows, or who themselves make the said 
solemn vows, even should they be the majority of 
the Congregation, are to be considered as separat 
ing themselves from its body, and are bound to leave 
all the houses and temporal goods of the Congre 
gation to those who continue in the merely eccle 
siastical and priestly order, even if they should be 
the minority."* 

Here is a precise and positive declaration : we 
shall have hereafter to use it as a defensive argu 
ment; it shows us clearly what the spirit of the 
Oratory was; and this spirit Father Eudes, who 
left it, gave to his own Congregation. 

In the funeral oration, preached by Bossuet, for 
Father de Bourgoing, third General of the Oratory, 
he speaks of it as a " Congregation to which it3 

# Vie de M. Oilier. Notes. 


founder wished to give no other spirit but the 
spirit of the Church, no rules but the holy Canons, 
no vows but those of Baptism and the Priesthood, 
no bonds but those of charity." 

The fathers of the Oratory afterwards directed a 
considerable number of schools with success. 

Difficulties raised by the Procureur General of 
the Parliament of Normandy obliged the fathers of 
the Oratory to make a formal declaration that they 
were not religious, but merely priests living in 
community, and in absolute dependence on the 
Bishops in whose dioceses their houses were 

Their principal house was in the Eue St. 
Honore ; and on the 2nd of October, 1629, their 
founder died there, at the age of 54, while saying 
Mass in the Oratory Church : he sank down 
as he pronounced those words of the Canon, 
" Hanc igitur oblationem." Being unable to com 
plete the sacrifice as priest, he completed it as 

" Capta sub extremis neques dum sacra Sacerdos 
Perficere, ac saltern Victima perficiam." 

Cardinal de Berulle, (as we see from the missive 
letters of Richelieu,) was often employed in im 
portant negotiations. On several occasions he 
served as an intermediary between Mary de Medi- 
cis and her son Louis XIII., he was also sent to 
Rome to obtain the dispensations necessary for 
the marriage of the Prince of Wales, afterwards 
Charles I., with Henrietta of France, he accom 
panied her to England, and there won universal 
esteem and veneration. 

The Congregation of the Oratory, which was 
suppressed in 1790, was re-established in Paris 
in 1853, by Father Petetot, under the title of the 
Oratory of the Immaculate Conception. Many dis- 

# Ordres Monastiques, 1 Oratoire. 


tinguished men Lave belonged to this Congregation; 
amongst others we may name Malebranche, Mas- 
Billon, Mascaron, Niceron, La Blatterie, Fonce- 
mayne, and Dotteville; but in course of time it 
was tainted by Jansenism, and its latter end was 
less glorious than its beginning. 

These details are necessary to throw light on 
the path we have to follow. We must, so to 
speak, enter the Oratory with John Eudes, endea 
vouring, according to Fenelon s directions, to take 
his portrait from nature, to represent him as he 
was at all ages, and in all the principal circum 
stances of his life. 

Happily he had found his vocation ; he pos 
sessed the virtue of fortitude in a very high 
degree ; it was, in fact, the distinguishing virtue 
of his character, it inspired all his undertakings, 
made him follow throughout life one undeviatiug 
course, it was the secret of his mission, and the 
true reason of his appearance in the XVIIth cen 

It made the practice of every spiritual exercise 
belonging to his holy calling easy to him. Father 
de Berulle and his immediate directors were soon 
surprised at his rare fitness for that calling, and 
we have abundant proof that in his case fortitude 
was accompanied by tenderness and prudence, in 
the fact that the good opinion of his superiors was 
shared by the whole community, and no jealousy 
was felt by any of its members on seeing the 
youngest of their number become the favourite 
child of Father de Berulle. This wise general 
thought it well to bring forward a disciple whose 
mind was so strong and character so stable; there 
fore, although he was only twenty-four, and still in 
minor orders, he made him preach the word of 
God publicly. The hopes of his master were 
fully satisfied, and the zeal and dignity with which 


be acquitted himself of this duty gave promise of 
his future success. 

Similar reasons induced Mgr. de Granier to 
appoint St. Francis of Sales, while also in minor 
orders, to preach in the Cathedral on the Feast of 
the Blessed Sacrament. 

And now the eagle s wings were fully grown, 
and he was about to soar to the highest regions, 
and to descend and seize with his powerful talons 
the evil which was devouring society like a con 
tagious leprosy. Natural eloquence, which the 
habit of preaching improved, was accompanied in 
Father Eudes by those exterior advantages which 
assist an orator s talent; he was well-made, and 
had that imposing air which, as time goes on, 
becomes venerable ; his action was easy, and his 
voice good. But, above all, he, like St. Francis 
of Sales, was himself an image of all the virtues 
he recommended to his audience. Is not this ever 
one of the chief conditions of success ? 

In the month of December, 1624, Father Eudea 
went to Seez, where, on the 21st of the month, he 
was ordained sub-deacon by Mgr. de Camus. In 
the Lent of 1625, Mgr. d Angennes, Bishop of 
Bayeux, ordained him deacon, and in the following 
December he was admitted to the priesthood, by 
Mgr. Boivin, Bishop of Tars, and coadjutor to Mgr. 
de Pericard, Bishop of Avranches. John Eudes had 
then completed his 24th year. He had spent a 
whole year in preparation for the priesthood, with 
a fervour which increased with every bond that 
drew him closer to the altar. He was more than 
ever impressed with his own nothingness, and 
therefore in his first Mass, which he said the night 
before Christmas day, in a chapel dedicated, as he 
remarked, to the Blessed Virgin, he seemed to be 
quite filled with God, and with the holiness of the 
Sacrifice he was offering. Sweet consolations and 


never-to-be-forgotten graces were granted to him 
on this occasion. 

Henceforth, the light that had shewn him the ex 
cellence of the holy Mass led him to unreserved 
devotion. " We should need," he said, " three 
eternities to say Mass aright; the first, to prepare 
for it, the second, to say it, and the third, to make 
our thanksgiving for it.* 

Father Herambourg tells ns that one of the 
graces he most earnestly asked of God, was to he 
able to say Mass every day of his life. He was 
not like some who feel full of zeal the first time 
they have this great honour, but whose ardour 
grows cold as it becomes familiar to them. Not 
withstanding his grievous illnesses, his toilsome 
journeys, the overwhelming amount of business 
which occupied him, he hardly ever failed to satisfy 
his devotion. He knew what purity is required of 
the hands that offer the Immaculate Host, and of 
the heart that receives It, therefore, before hearing 
or saying Mass, he used with the deepest humility 
to confess all the sins of his life inwardly to God 
and the angels and saints. We can scarcely enter 
into the fervour with which he offered the Holy 
Sacrifice, his desires were unbounded, they were 
inflamed with love. We read, (Fleurs. L. 2. 
21.) that "Father Eudes could not understand 
how any priest could hurry through his Mass." 
One day he observed that a member of the Con 
gregation had said it in a quarter of an hour; he 
could not conceal his indignation, and said, in 
presence of the whole community, without, how 
ever, naming the offender, that " unless he 
amended, one or other of them mast leave the 
Congregation ; for that it was enough to make him 
die of grief to see his Master served so badly."! 

* Vertus du P. Eudes, note du P. Le Dore. 
t Pere Herambourg, vertus du P. Eudes. Fleura de la Con 


He also considered the act of serving at Mass as 
most honourable, and used to say that it was 
sharing the office of the Mother of God, of St. 
Joseph, and St. Gabriel, who ministered to our 
Lord wbile He was on earth, and that the same 
Sacrament which was instituted to give Priests 
grace to offer the Sacrifice, was also intended to 
give grace and dignity to those who serve.* 

He was very anxious that people should hear 
Mass with befitting modesty. He once said Mass 
at Versailles, before Louis XIV. ; the King knelfe 
devoutly, but those about him stood. When he 
came to the offertory, the holy apostle thought it 
well to congratulate his Majesty on the respect 
which he showed to the King of Kings, before 
Whom all earthly Sovereigns are but dust, and 
added : " But, Sire, I am astonished to see that 
while you are performing your religious duties so 
perfectly, and worshipping God with so much 
humility, those around you are behaving in a very 
different manner." The courtiers were thunder 
struck, every one became reverent, especially when 
the King began to turn round to see who were 
standing. f 

Such were the deep and holy impressions which 
the young Priest s first Mass left in his heart. 

St. Francis of Sales was admitted to the priest 
hood at the age of 26. Some one said to him 
afterwards, that the Altar does not make the 
priest impeccable ; but that he may be overcome 
by failings after receiving orders as he was before. 
" Those who speak in such a manner/ he an 
swered, "little know what it is to be a priest, to 
handle and receive the Body of Christ daily ; no 
one is worthy of the name of priest, who is not 
as pure as an angel." 

* Vertus du P. Eudes. 
f Annalas de la Congregation. 


We must not completely lose sight of the two 
brothers, who are associated with Father Eudes in 
the honours paid by a populace grateful for their 
good deeds, or proud of their glory. 

While John was beginning to preach in Paris, 
Francis and Charles were growing up beneath 
their father s roof; there was but one year be 
tween them, for Francis was born in 1610, and 
Charles in 1611. No doubt John, who was to 
evangelize so many districts, cast the good seed 
into these young hearts. He must have spent at 
least two years at home with them. " Be this as 
it may," says M. Levavasseur, in his notice of 
the three brothers, " Francis soon left home and 
went to Caen, to pursue those studies which after 
wards led him, by a very different path from his 
elder brother, to far greater glory and renown." 

It is but too true that John Eudes, bravo 
champion, holy priest, eloquent missionary as he 
was, had no glory in this world : like Jesus he was 
buffeted and calumniated. This gives a peculiar 
character to his life ; when we speak of what 
touches him personally, we have to relate constant 
suffering. But it is this specially that makes us 
love him with all the love that a biographer can 
bear to a saint. 

It seems probable that Charles accompanied hia 
brother, and after completing his education, re 
turned home, and studied medicine and surgery 
under his father, who no doubt laid the founda 
tion of the devotion and self-sacrifice by which 
he was hereafter distinguished. Father Costil 
tells us, in the annals of the Congregation, that 
Charles Eudes du d Houay, served for some time 
with the army, and then practised medicine at 
Argentan. Possibly he may have been one of tho 
surgeons appointed to regiments by Cardinal de 
Richelieu, in 1629, when he gave to each regiment 
a hospital and a chaplain. 


It is certain that be settled permanently at 
Argentan, and left a posterity which has now become 
very numerous, and is represented by the families 
of Mallevoue, Le Cousturier, de Beaulaincourt, 
Chappe d Auteroche, d Achon, de Montzey, and 
de la Porte. 

Of Father Eudes sisters, Mary is the only one 
whose descendants are still living ; she is repre 
sented by the family of Lautour of Argentan. 




John Eudes, Jerome Vignier, J. F. Senault, 
afterwards General of the Oratory, and other dis 
tinguished members of that celebrated Congrega 
tion, were preparing themselves for future con 
flicts, not merely by a profound study of theology, 
but also by a study of the public with whom 
they would have to deal, and of the means best 
adapted to convince and convert them, and by 
trying their strength in the pulpit. 

When Henri IV. was suddenly removed from 


the world in which he had played so conspicuous 
a part, the supreme power devolved upon the 
Queen, whose party was naturally hostile to the 
Protestants. The Duke of Sully was recalled with 
expressions of favour : he consented to remain in 
office, but his fellow-Protestants bitterly lamented 
the King s death, and organized themselves for 
the defence of the rights conceded to them by the 
Edict of Nantes. Philip de Mornay, the most 
ardent champion of the Keformation, exclaimed : 
" Let there be amongst us no more talk of 
Huguenots and Papists ; these names are for 
bidden by our edicts... we must have but one 
badge ; whoever is a good Frenchman, is to be 

looked on as a good citizen, and a brother."* 

Such were his words in public, but when he opened 
his heart in private, he said : " I fear that we shall 
be like brothers, who, after their father s death, 
fall on each other s necks, and weep together, but 
when the first grief is over, return to their old 
quarrels, and are ready to come to blows for a 
dollar."f The forebodings of Henri IV. s old 
comrade were correct, but even his experience 
could not yet guess who was to prove the most 
formidable enemy of the reformation. The con 
sideration with which it was at present treated, 
seemed to his mind the sign of a coming tempest. 
The clerical body, wishing to overcome by persua 
sion, was now deeply occupied in study, and 
Richelieu was silently becoming great. He had 
been originally destined to the profession of arms, 
but had received holy orders, and at the age of 
twenty- two was consecrated Bishop of Lu9on. 
He was deputy to the States General in 1614, 
and attracted the notice of the Queen and the 
Marechal d Ancre. In 1615, the Queen made 

* Assemblee du 19 Mai, 1616. 
t Bazin. 


him her chaplain, and in 1616 caused him to be 
appointed Secretary of State for War and for the 

In 1617 he accompanied the Queen-mother, 
(then out of fayour,) to Blois, probably with the 
tacit consent of the king, and afterwards he suc 
ceeded in the delicate mission of bringing about a 
reconciliation between them. By his influence 
tbe treaty of Augouleme was concluded in 1620, 
and that of Angers in 1621 ; he received tbe Car 
dinal s hat in 1622, became a member of Council 
in 1623, having left all his rivals, and especially 
old Villeroi, at a distance. He ultimately became 
Prime Minister, and under a king like Louis 
Xlir., almost absolute master of the destinies of 

This minister was unquestionably one of the 
greatest who have ever governed France. 

He pursued his course with one aim ever in 
view, ruthlessly bearing down all obstacles ; that 
aim was to destroy the power of the nobles, to 
crush heresy, at least as a party in the realm, 
and to bring down the greatness of the house of 

He appears from afar like a brilliant meteor, a 
giant form which we cannot measure ; and we 
may not venture to condemn or to acquit him. 

In the course of this history we shall have to 
mention one of his most active and trustworthy 
agents, who has been invested with a kind of 
legendary interest under the name of his grey 
eminence. Father Joseph, (Francis Le Clerc do 
Tremblay,) became celebrated under a religious 
habit, though he probably would have remained 
unknown if he had merely followed the career 
which lay before him as a nobleman. Imagina 
tion has made of him a kind of familiar demon or 
evil genius ; all sorts of crimes have been ,laid to 
his charge ; romance has taken hold of his Ufa 


and stained it with blood. This is a calumny, 
and if there is anything more infamous than 
calumny against the living, it is calumny against 
the dead, who can no longer answer it.* Father 
Joseph was a man of counsel and of action, whom 
Richelieu often employed in most important 
affairs, and who was devoted to the minister long 
before he had reached the summit of power. 

Chastity and mortification are sisters. Father 
Eudes was chaste, and mortified to the highest 
degree. He had a peculiar love for chastity; he 
lived an angelic life in a human body, and hia 
very flesh became spiritualized ; it was, as Ter- 
tullian says of virgin bodies, angelidata caro. 
He ever guarded this hidden treasure with a kind 
of shame- facedness and modesty. He feared the 
very shadow of impurity more than hell itself; 
and he closed the doors of his heart against this 
monster, by complete mortification of the senses, 
especially that of sight; he would not look at 
women, even when he spoke to them. He never 
transgressed the rules of temperance, and recom 
mended it as the surest means of preservation 
from temptations of the flesh. Not only did he 
sometimes deny himself necessaries, but he in 
flicted strange mortifications on his body. " This 
miserable body," he would often say, " will do 

* Letter from Eichelieu to Father Joseph, end of April, 1624. 
(Missive Letters of the Cardinal.) "As you are the principal 
agent whom God has made use of to lead me to my present hon 
ours, I feel bound to give you the first news of them, and to tell 
you that the king has been pleased, at the queen s request, to 
appoint me his prime minister ; at the same time, I beg you to 
hasten your journey, and to come as soon as possible to share 
with me the conduct of affairs ; there are important matters, 
which I will not entrust to any one else, nor decide without 
your opinion. Come quickly, therefore, and receive the testi 
mony of the great esteem which Cardinal de Richelieu has for 
you." Father Joseph was then a friend from the first, and not 
one of those tools whom a tyrant always finds ready, and with 
whom Father Eudes would never have treated of the concerns of 


nothing if it is not well cared for, and often re 
freshed. Tin s wretched carcase gives me a great 
deal of trouble." Such complaints were made 
when he was ohliged to take any food more 
strengthening than usual. He practised every 
kind of penance. Father Herambourg tells us 
that from his sixteenth or seventeenth year he 
constantly watched and fasted, took the discipline, 
ttsed a hair-shirt and iron chain. He continued 
these practices till he was past forty, and with so 
much severity that his health was ruined and his 
life endangered. His directors were obliged to 
restrain his rigour, that he might be able to un 
dertake the work of missions. He was absolutely 
commanded to take care of his health, because 
God wanted him as an instrument to promote Hia 

In the midst of his labours Father Eudes had a 
long illness, resulting in some measure from ex 
cessive austerities. Experience taught him the 
necessity of moderating his fervour, not merely 
for his own sake, hut for the sake of those who 
might at a future time bo placed under his direc 

It was thought that his native air would be the 
best remedy, but he derived no benefit from it, 
and was sent to the seminary of our Lady of 
Aubervilliers. This was a celebrated place of pil 
grimage, in the neighbourhood of Paris, and the 
seminary there was one of the first houses given 
to the Oratory.* 

* The pilgrimage to our Lady of Virtues at Aubervilliers, 
owes its origin to a miraculous picture of the Blessed Virgin, 
which attracted multitudes as early as the year 1338. Philip 
de Valois and his queen, the Duke of Alencon, Count d Estam- 
pes and many other persons of consideration visited it, and left 
tokens of their munificence. Many miracles were worked there, 
which gave it the name of our Lady of Virtues, miracles in the 
XlVth century being called virtues. In order to provide a suffi 
cient number of clergy for the needs of the pilgrims to Auber 
villiers, the spiritual charge of the town was given to the priests 


The two years which he spent at Aubervilliers 
were devoted to a profound study of the Holy 
Scriptures ; his method is worthy of notice, be 
cause, as he told many of his disciples, it gave 
him a clear insight into his subject. After pros 
trating himself before his crucifix, and imploring 
the Holy Spirit to give him light, he remained on 
Lis knees as long as his strength permitted. In. 
this humble position, which he did not willingly 
change, he read the sacred text straight through, 
without making use of translation or commentary. 
When he met with passages easy to be under 
stood, he did his best to lix the facts, the mean 
ing, the proofs, and even the very expressions 
used by the inspired writers in his mind, endea 
vouring, at the same time, to foresee the different 
occasions on which they might be turned to ac 
count for his own benefit or the instruction of 

Was not this storing up treasure for the future? 
Studies of this kind are most important to an 
orator, and they gave Father Eules such ease in 
speaking, and such power of reasoning, that he 
was never at a loss, and was able to spe;ik often, 
and at length, without exhausting his suhject. 

But he was even more admirable when he met 
with those obscure points which seem to be covered 
with an impenetrable veil ; instead of exalting his 
own reason above the question, he humbled nim- 
self before God, and worked on with calmness and 
entire confidence in Him who gives light so freely 
when the soul is not blinded by pride. 

We shall not be understood by all, certainly not 
by those who are wearying themselves in a useless 

of the Oratory. The Seminary of St. Sulpice used to go there 
in a body on Whitsun Tuesday ; this custom was abolished in 
1629, but many of the ecclesiastics of that house still perform 
the pilgrimage during their vacation. (Vie de M. Oilier, notes.) 

* Pere Montigny. 


pursuit of the unknown. We, in our simplicity, 
possess this unknown, for our faith is founded on 
the acts of Jesus Christ, on the writings of the 
Fathers of our ancient Church, who, before every 
thing was made clear to them, had also their 
doubts and cruel uncertainties, but those doubts 
were the secret of their cells, and when at length 
they spoke to the world, it was to declare truths 
which will remain unmoved through time and 

And now we have theories, always theories. 
Woe to those who would tamper with the faith 
which our children have learned at their mother s 
knees, but which they may not perhaps be able to 
hand down to their descendants. Woe to them, 
for the Father of the family raises His hand to 
curse them. But let no one fear that we shall 
remain behindhand. Our Church cannot grow 
old: she ever is, she ever will be young and active; 
she would have her children march onwards, she 
would have them explore the fields of science, 
she applauds their victories, she. blames the lag 

Father Eudes was restored to health. He is 
no longer to remain in apparent inaction ; he is 
to work, to earn the praise which has just been 
bestowed upon him. " Pertransiit benet aciendo." 
The soldier is about to take the field. 

"During the fearful plague which, towards the 
end of 1628, fell upon France, Savoy, Piedmont, 
Italy, and the whole world, and continued its ter 
rible ravages during the three following* years, 
the supernatural power of grace and the marvel 
lous spiritual transformations of which we have 
given a faint picture, were seen in all their glory. 

"The epidemics of the XlXth century can give 

* Details which we shall give regarding the plague in Nor 
mandy, prove that it began in 1627. 


no idea of what the plague was in those days. 
The want of cleanliness in towns, the entire in 
sufficiency of remedial measures, the absence of a 
regular police capable of restoring some degree of 
order in the midst of the general confusion, the 
contagious nature of the malady, (which was con 
sidered even more contagious than it really was,) 
combined to increase at once mortality, fear and 

" People were afraid to see anyone, or touch 
anything, for the plague was communicated by 
the touch or the breath of the sufferer, and any 
thing that had come in contact with him might 
transmit it. Towns were forsaken, and for months 
together became like deserts ; the grass grew in 
the streets, and great bands of wolves ranged 
through them, attracted by the odour of the un- 
buried corpses.! 

This scourge had visited France several times 
since 1585, and though religious foundations had 
been interrupted more or less, a greater number 
of souls had been brought back to the true faith 
by each visitation-, than would have been won by a 
hundred preachers in a century. 

The record of the heroic devotion of Father 
Eudes shews us that even in 1627 the plague had 
reached some parts of the rich province of Nor 
mandy, where so many now go in the beautiful 
summer days to seek the health and strength that 
lias been impaired by worldly pleasure, instead of 
by the austerities to which he so nearly fell a 

On learning that the plague had reached Ecou- 
che, and was drawing near to the place of his 
birth, but one thought took possession of the 
young priest s breast ; he longed to brave all dan 
gers, that he might give the sick courage to en- 

t Abbe Bougaud. Histoire de Ste. Chantal. 


dure, and provide as far as possible for their neces 

Father de Benille consented to his departure, 
imposing only one condition, that he should take 
every prudent precaution consistent with the exer 
cise of his perilous ministry. Father de Berulle 
desired Father Allard, Superior of the Oratory at 
Caen,* to direct his movements, and he accord 
ingly gave him a letter to the vicar-general of the 
Bishop of Seez, requesting him, in the bishop s 
absence, to give him the necessary faculties for 
that diocese. Before leaving Paris Father Eudes 
had provided himself with a portable altar and all 
other things needed for the celebration of the 
Holy Sacrifice. The faculties were readily granted, 
and he lost no time in going where the plague was 
at the worst. 

In our military archives we give the first place 
to those written orders which may be called death- 
warrants ; and which the French officer always 
receives with a calm heart and a smiling coun 
tenance, though he little knows whether he shall 
ever return from the peril which he must meet. 
Side by side with those orders we might lay that 
which Father Costil has transmitted to us con 
taining Father Allard s letter to the Vicar-general 
of Seez. The original is in Latin, and we give a 
translation. "In accordance with the orders of 
our Rev. Father General, I, the undersigned, 
priest of the Congregation of the Oratory, and 
superior of the house at Caen, testify that our 
well-beloved John Eudes, priest of the diocese of 
Seez, and highly esteemed in our Congregation, 
has always, in your neighbourhood and amongst 
ourselves, been adorned by virtues, science, mo 
desty, and purity of manners, that his life has 

* The Oratory at Caen was established on the 10th June 
1622. M. and Mdme. de Bepichon founded it in Rue Guillebert. 


been edifying, and that he is impelled to go to 
you solely by Christian charity, by a desire for the 
glory of God and the salvation of souls. 

These things considered, the care and instruc 
tion of the faithful may safely be entrusted to 
him, as well as the office of preaching the word of 
God, and the administration of the Sacraments, 
especially in those places where the present misery 
and the plague cause a deficiency of priests, (in 
his locis maxime, ubi pro temporum calamitate et 
epidemic morbo desunt et absuut sacerdotes). We 
could not withstand his earnest and repeated en 
treaties for this favour, and now make them known 
to your wisdom. The order of charity required 
that his talents should be employed in the service 
of that province where he received life, grace, and 
ordination, and that his own diocese should be 
the first to gather the fruits that may be expected 
from his ability, his piety, his wisdom, his work 
and his life. We who are your servants in Christ, 
after having given him our blessing, take the 
liberty of sending him to you, that he may receive 
from you one greater and more abundant, which 
will enable him to provide for the wants of hia 
people and of yours also, if occasion require. As 
lie will freely give everything in his power, we 
Lope you will not refuse him what is necessary. 

"Given at Caen, the 13th of August, in the year 


Furnished with this favourable certificate, to 
which we shall have occasion again to refer, Father 
Eudes immediately obtained from the Vicar-gene 
ral of Seez powers for exercising his ministry in 
all parts of the diocese. 

The panic was general, and the minister of the 

This date fixes the time of the beginning of the plague. 


plague-stricken was dreaded as they were. No 
gentleman or priest would give him lodging. To 
use Father Herambourg s words, "He was like 
his Master, who when He left His throne of glory 
to comfort men and deliver them from their in 
firmities, was shamefully rejected by them : In 
propria venit et sui eum non receperunt." After 
the example of his Saviour, he had devoted him- 
eelf to the service of all men ; he considered that 
nothing belonged to him any more than to a 
Blave ; /that he had no right to make any use of 
himself, to employ his body or soul, his means, 
his time or his life, except for Jesus Christ and 
His members.* No difficulty was able to daunt 
him. A single priest, however, Father Laurent, 
of St. Christophe, offered to share with him his 
Bmall remaining means, and to assist him in hia 
labours. At this time all business was at a stand 
still, the markets were closed, and those whom 
the plague had spared were suffering from famine. 
We read in the history of this period, that the 
monasteries were the only houses in the towns 
whose inhabitants remained in them, and that 
they were often destitute of food and medicine, 
and deprived of confessors. 

The heroic charity of Father Eudes was only 
equalled by that of his companion, whose name 
has happily been handed down to us. For two 
months they went to and fro through the infected 
parishes of St. Pierre, St. Martin, Vrigny, Avoines 
and others. Like the High Priest Aaron, who 
went forth, with his censor in his hand, between 
the living and the dead, Father Eudes passed 
from one scene of misery to another, under the 
protection of the Body of Christ, veiled in the 
most Holy Sacrament, which he bore in a pyx 
round his neck. Thus the saint of Savoy travelled 

* P. Herambourg. Vertus. 


through a country laid waste by heresy, to give 
the sacraments to the few Catholics who had es 
caped the fury of the Bernese. And like him 
again, Father Eudes and Father Laurent drew 
the great courage and never-failing strength which 
made them insensible to danger from the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass. 

From the altar of the neighbouring chapel of 
St. Euroult, they went from cabin to cabin, from 
hut to hut, to the poor forsaken sufferers, who 
looked on them as angels come from heaven. 

In the fulfilment of their arduous and self- 
chosen task, they not only did all that ardent zeal 
could do for the salvation of souls, but they be 
stowed on the sick all the temporal assistance that 
their diligent charity could command. They both 
forgot their own danger : we know, indeed, how 
little the wisest precautions often avail in such a 
case, but God preserved them. Soon the plague 
ceased : it had lasted from the month of August 
to the Feast of All Saints, and we cannot but 
attribute its cessation to the labours and fervent 
prayers of these two devoted men. 

Father Eudes was soon engaged in similar 
labours at Argentan, where the plague had broken 
out ; he advised the citizens to put their town for 
ever under the protection of our Lady, by a public 
and solemn consecration. They did so, and soon 
experienced the effects of her power with God. 
He made them place the image of the Mother of 
the Afflicted at each of their gates, and it was still 
to be seen there in 1778.* 

All danger being at length at an end, Father 
Eudes considered his further presence as uncalled 
for, and bidding farewell to his faithful and vir 
tuous companion in arms, he returned to Paris to 
receive further orders from his superior. He 

* Vertus. Note du P. Le Dore. 


arrived there about the time of All Saints, 1627, 
and was soon sent to Caen, where for three years 
he spared no pains in hringing the people back to 
the Sacraments, in teaching them and preaching 
the Word of God daily. 

The plague had remained for some time latent, 
but in 1631 it suddenly seized with fury on the 
town of Caen, and God permitted it to make 
terrible havoc. On its first appearance efforts 
were made to prevent its further spread by the 
complete isolation of those who were stricken. 
The despair of these wretched beings may be more 
easily imagined than described. Nothing but 
heroic, heaven-born charity could save them, and 
fear had paralyzed all the noblest feelings of 

But Father Eudes soon appeared ; most of the 
inhabitants had already seen him in the pulpit, 
they were now to know him by his deeds. He 
met his old enemy face to face. His friends 
vainly tried to dissuade him from encountering 
a danger, which in our days the noblest women in 
France have dared to defy. But none of their 
arguments could meet that which he used at once 
as an answer and a justification : " What have I 
to fear ? am not I the strongest, for I am quite 
full of corruption, and more evil than the plague 
itself?" This argument was wondrously plausi 
ble ; for he feared for his dear companions the 
perils which he made light of when he himself 
was concerned. " Did you not know," answered 
St. Francis of Sales, when his father begged him 
not to expose himself to the violence of the here 
tics, " did you not know, that I must be entirely 
occupied about my heavenly Father s interests ?" 

Father Eudes, therefore, left his brethren, and 
their farewells must have been solemn, for he was 
going into the very jaws of death. His only lodg 
ing was a cask, which he had rolled into a meadow 



near the Abbey of the Trinity. This place was 
lately known as the Saint s field. In like manner 
St. Athanasius, Patriarch of Antjoch, lived for 
fonr months in a tomb, that the friends who hud 
offered him shelter might not be exposed to the 
danger of persecution from the emperor s emis 
saries, who were then searching for him. 

The young Oratorian devoted his whole days, 
and a part of his nights, to the care and consola 
tion of the sick, cheering their miserable abode as 
if by a heavenly light. He only returned to his 
strange and humble abode when nature positively 
asserted her rights. Worn out as he was with 
fatigue and hunger, it would have been impossible 
for him to procure even the coarsest food, if Pro 
vidence Lad not provided for him. Mdme. de 
Budos,* abbess of the Trinity, sent the necessary 
provisions every day, and probably in sufficient 
quantity to enable him to share with the poor. 
This was a great act of charity, at a time when 
every one was iu want. Father Costil had these 
facts from a nun of the Abbey of the Trinity, at 
Caen, who repeated them again in a letter to 
Father Herambourg. 

While Father Eudes was himself preserved un 
scathed in the midst of the dying and the dead, 
he heard that notwithstanding all the precautions 
taken by the fathers, the plague had reached the 
house of the Oratory ; all the inmates were at 
tacked. Nothing less could have torn the holy 
priest from his poor; he now shut himself up 

Laurence de "Budos, daughter of the Visconti de Portea, 
was a member of one of the most illustrious families in the 
kingdom. Henry IV., at the request of the Constable of Mont- 
morency her uncle, gave her the Abbey of the Trinity at Caen, 
when she was thirteen years of age. When she had attained the 
required age, she received the habit from Mdme. d Aumale, at 
the monastery of Chelles, went to her Abbey and reformed it 
thoroughly. She died there, in the odour of sanctity, on the 
13th of June, 1650, aged 66. 


witli bis brethren, and lavished on them all the 
care to which all his dearly-bought experience gave 
each value. He saved them all except Father 
Repichon, the superior, and one other father, both 
of whom died in his arms. 

He was not without consolations in the midst 
of his labours and fatigues. An old Protestant 
was struck down by the plague; Father Eudes 
was soon at his bed-side, giving him encourage 
ment and support, notwithstanding the moral gulf 
which separated them. The sufferer was touched 
by such generosity, more than he might perhaps 
have been by the most eloquent words ; he abjured 
bis errors, made his confession to his charitable 
benefactor, and died a most sincere Catholic. It 
is believed that this convert was the first whom 
Father Eudes had the happiness of receiving. 

Although he had been so miraculously pre 
served from contagion, be almost fell a victim to 
an illness which the natural delicacy of his con 
stitution made more dangerous, especially as it 
came after he had undergone so many privations. 
He thought his last hour was at hand, but God 
still wanted His servant, and gave him back to 
the fervent prayers of the Carmelites, the Bene 
dictines, and, it may be, of many other unknown 
and grateful suppliants.* 

His self-devotion had been like that of St. 
Francis of Sales during the ravages of the plague- 
at Annecy in 1599, and during his illness he, like 
that saint, was more than resigned ;. he fervently 

* St. Francis of Sales being dangerously ill while he was stu 
dying at Padua, his tutor, M. Deage thought it right to tell him 
that perhaps he would soon be called to appear before God, the 
holy youth exclaimed : 

" Sive me mori, Christe jubes, 

Seu viyere mavis ; 
Dulce mihi tecum vivere 

Dulce mori." 

Vie de St. Fs. de Ss. de 1586 d 1590. 


longed to go to the Master whom he had served 
so well. But he feared that the powerful prayers 
of the pious Carmelites at Caen would deprive him 
of that happiness. They knew it, and nothing 
can he more touching than the letter which they 
wrote to him when his illness was at the worst. 
" Very Reverend Father, We have heard that you 
are much afraid lest we should snatch you out of 
God s hands. 0, no ! do not fear anything of the 
kind. Our charity towards you is not so small.... 
We do not pray absolutely for the continuation of 
your life, but only for whatever may be for the 
greater glory of our dear and only beloved Jesus... 

If Jesus Christ still wishes to be glorified in 

and by you in this vale of tears, there is no help 
for it, father, you must have patience ; if you were 
at the very gate of heaven, and about to enter, we 
would still bring you back." 

Father Eudes had reason to fear these holy 
virgins, who beatified him beforehand, by begging 
him with beautiful simplicity, if he should die, to 
" bear their greetings to the Blessed Virgin, to 
their mother St. Theresa, to St. Joseph, their 
Blessed Father, and to all their friends and rela 

Does not the preservation of his life from 1627 
to 1631 seem like a miracle ? 

With returning health his ardent desire to 
devote himself immediately a-nd without reserve 
to his neighbours salvation also returned. Hia 
love for his neighbour was of that kind which had 
both bonds and wings, which sometimes arresta 
the steps of apostolic men, and sometimes makes 
them fly. At first it had led him to seek the 
solitude of his cell and his oratory, that he might 
be filled with the Spirit of God ; afterwards it led 
him forth to sow the seed of the Gospel in many 
provinces. He had the zeal of which St. Chry- 


eostom speaks, a zeal which enables a man to un 
dertake everything for the glory of God. 

" His zeal," suys Father Herarnbourg, " was 
immense in action, and courageous in enterprise. 
He considered every opportunity of working for 
the salvation of souls infinite in value, and would 
have blamed himself much if he had neglected a 
Biugle one." Such he was already, and such he 
ever continued to be. 

As soon as he had recovered, he wished to give 
missions in the towns and country places. His 
motto was Verba et acta. His superiors could 
not refuse him permission to give himself up to a 
work for which his persuasive powers so eminently 
qualified him. 

The poor peasants were, as we have said, in the 
greatest need of ardent words like his, for they 
had been beset for sixty years by the temptations 
of the Reformation, and their ignorant and care 
less pastors did little for their guidance or edifica 

"Believe me," said St. Francis of Sales, "there 
can never be enough preaching: nunquam satis 
dicitur quod numquam satis dicitur ; and especially 
now in presence of heresy, which only holds it3 
ground by preaching, and can only be overcome by 

Father Eudes became a missionary. 

The parish of Rl is at no great distance from 
Ecouche, and all the other places where the son 
of Isaac Eudes and Martha Corbin had become 
BO well known by his devoted labours in 1627. 
Perhaps the old physician may have met him be 
neath the roof of the plague-stricken, and while 
Lis heart was wrung with cruel anxiety at the dan 
gers to which he was exposed, he must also have 
rejoiced that he was the father of so holy a son. 
Again, in 1631 his devotion to the people of Caen 
must have reached the ears of his family, and 


doubtless often formed the topic of their fireside 

Let us take up the history of his two brothers. 
As M. Levavusseur remarks, " When simple 
parents give their children a superior education, it 
does not tend to acclimatize them to their home, 
and so the ambitious Francis, when he was hardly 
grown up, left the modest hamlet in the parish of 
Ri, and went to seek his fortune in Paris, 
taking with him from his native place nothing 
but the name of Mezeray, of which we have 
already spoken, and which was more likely to 
make a favourable impression on the great men 
and wits of the capital, than his simple patro 

He gave to this name much more than it gave 
him ; a stern and noble lesson to those who, 
despising that of their forefathers, alter it or give 
it up, and die insolvent debtors to (heir usurped 
honours. At Paris, FrancisEudes deMezeray found 
the Abbot des Yveteaux, brother of Francis of 
Vauquelin, Lord of Ri, Baron of Sassy and other 
places. He naturally sought his protection ; the 
Abhot had been tutor to the Dauphin, and by his 
influence Mezeray obtained the appointment of 
army commissary. He followed the army in two 
campaigns, of which as historian he preserved the 
record. t 

We shall soon meet Charles Eudes du d Houay, 
at Argeutan, following John s example of sublime 

* Three spots in the commune of Ri still bear the name of 
Mezeray ; a field, a paddock, and a common which is divided into 
several lots. The hamlet of d Houay is in the same commune. 

f* Richelieu wrote thus in May 1624 to the Abbot dea 
Yveteaux, whose house was but a doubtful school of manners : 
" You aro so well accustomed to steer your course through this 
world, that I receive the intelligence you have sent me as coin- 
iug from ozie who is able to judge of the future by the past." 







Father Eudes was now to devote bimself to 
the ministry of preaching; this work inevitably 
involved great bodily fatigue at a period when 
regular means of communication were as rare as 
great roads, and the smaller roads were often im 
practicable. Future generations will never know 
the difficulties of all kinds, and the immense loss 
of time attendant on travelling in those days. 
But Father Eudes feared no amount of trouble or 
labour, and determined to go wherever his pre 
sence seemed necessary. Convinced that God had 
called him to preach His word, he took up for bis 
motto the apostle s words : " Va mihi, si non 


evatigelizavero /" " Wo is unto me if I preach not 
the Gospel."* 

" Eudes preached sufficiently well for an age in 
which pulpit eloquence had not reached its present 
standard; his talent caused him to he sought 
after, and his Congregation gained by it."f 

To form an idea of the state of eloquence in the 
beginning of the 17th century, one must read the 
eermons of that time, which are full of conceits 
and plays upon words. | 

Father Eudes great glory is to have heen 
"one of those rugged Norman husbandmen, who 
broke fresh ground and cleared away brambles aud 
gaudy weeds ; one of the hrave apostles who pre 
pared, and founded and inaugurated the 17th 
cenlury. The testimony of Mgr. Camus, Bishop of 
Belley, with regard to Father Eudes eloquence, 
may be looked on as unprejudiced. 

This old friend of St. Francis of Sales had 
retired to the Oratory at Caen, and after having 
heard a sermon by the young preacher, he felt his 
own apostolic zeal revive, aud thought that he 
could produce a far more striking effect by the 
employment of those flowers of rhetoric which 
Father Eudes rejected as useless. To his great 
surprise his audience seemed unmoved. Mgr. 
Camus soon confessed that his rival was right, 

* Annalcs de la Congregation, P. Costil. 

j" Dictionnaire historique, 1781). 

J Mgr. Camus, Bishop of Belley, was fonder of preaching 
than of hearing confessions, but his sermons did not satisfy St. 
Francis of Sales. He recommended him to make a more sparing 
use of the riches of his imagination, and of the flowers of rhe 
toric ; to give Catechism, retreats, and subjects for meditation in 
preference to grand discourses. " I fear," said he, "that your 
flowers will not bear fruit ; it is time to prune your vineyard, 
and to free it from irrelevant ornaments, tempus putationis ad~ 
venit : it is well to use the vessels of Egypt for the decoration 
of the tabernacle, but it must be with moderation. Spirit of 
St. Francis of Sales, 2nd part, section xxxvi. 

M. Gustave Levavasseur, discours. 


and the celebrated preacher, whose talents were of 
DO common order, took every opportunity of doing 
due justice to Father Eudes. "I have seen," 
said he, one day, as the servant of God was leaving 
the pulpit, " in the course of my life many 
preachers, and I have heard all the beat in Italy 
and France, but I must say, I have never heard 
any one who touched the heart so deeply as this 
good father does." 

Yet Mgr. Camus could not but remember St. 
Francis, whose penetrating words had conquered a 
heresy supported by force of arms.* 

Mgr. de Cospean, Bishop of Lisieux, wrote to 
the Holy Father that he knew no one who preached 
with more unction, who better implanted Jesua 
Christ in people s hearts, or gained more souls to 
His service. t 

Any object of charity which Father Eudes un 
dertook to recommend, was sure of success. When 
funds were wanted for the general hospital at 
Caen, a work of which M. de Gavius was the chief 
promoter, Father Eudes preached his daily ser 
mon for a week on these words from the 40th 
psalm : " Blessed is he that understandeth con 
cerning the needy and the poor;" money came in 
so rapidly, that there was soon more than enough 
for the completion of the building.! 

* P. Montigny, 1787. 

f Mgr. de Cospean to the Holy Father : 

" Mhil nosse optimo isto viro (Fr. Eudes) aut sacris ejus 
concionibus, religiousus ; nihil quod major! seterm spiritu vi 
atque energia Christum Christianorum inserat pectoribus, quos 
tanto numero ad se trahit, in odorem ejus quern praedicat, ut id 
unice nobis sit credibile, qui testes habemus oculos." P. Heram- 
bowrg, vertus. 

t In the list of witnesses who appeared before the commis 
sion, entrusted with the first enquiry made by order of the Holy 
Father with regard to the beatification of Father Eudes, we 
observe the name of Mdme. de Montpinson, superior of this 
same hospital of St. Louis, whose foundation was assisted by 
Father Eudes sermons. 


Such was Father Eudes power in the pulpit 
what was its source ? 

He looked on the office of a preacher as far 
more holy and useful than that of a prophet* in 
asmuch as the teachers of the ancient law gave 
their hearers nothing but the letter, while those 
who have the honour of preaching the Gospel im 
part its spirit also to their hearers, if they present 
no obstacle. He used to say that priests shared 
the apostles labours, and that they both worked 
in common with our Lord : " As My Father sent 
Me, so I also send you ; going, therefore, teach." 
He considered preachers of the Gospel as angels 
of the Lord* messengers from heaven* heralds of 
the Most Blessed Trinity* trumpets of the Eternal 
Father, ambassadors of the Word* organs of the 
Holy Spirit, fellow-workers with Jesus Christ in 
the greatest of all His works, the salvation of 
souls. He always spoke as /row God, before God, 
and in Christ ; " Sicut ex Deo, coram Deo, in 
Christo loquimur." (2 Cor. ii.) As a preacher, 
he assumed a position above that of kings and 
princes ; boldly and respectfully proclaiming the 
Word of God in their presence. " Loquebar de 
testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum, et non con- 

But, above all* his wonderful success was due 
to the force of his own example, to the conformity 
between his preaching and his practice. " His 
word was thunder, because his life was lightning," 
as Father Herambourg expresses it. He believed 
that if a preacher failed to regulate his own actions 
by the truths which he proclaimed to others, his 
own words would prove his condemnation, and 
overwhelm him on his death-bed, according to the 
saying of St. Prosper: "Bene loqui et male vivere, 
quid aliud est, nisi se sua voce damnare?" 

He always put the poor before the rich ; he 
preferred the most miserable villages to opulent 


cities: "Pauperes evangelisantur." (Matt, xi.) 
He sought not praise or glory; he was never dis 
couraged by the smallness of his audience, for he 
knew that one of the most beautiful sermons re 
corded in the Gospel was spoken by the Son of 
God to one poor woman.* 

God had specially chosen him for this ministry. 
"I give myself up to preaching," said he, " though 
it is against my own inclination, because I see 
that it is the will of God, which I must never 

In the present day, the eloquent men who have 
taken the place once occupied by de Frayssinous, 
de Ravignan, and Lacordaire, at Notre Dame, see 
a crowd around them ; an ardent, educated, often 
an uneasy crowd, gathered from the highest classes 
of society, from the army, from the different seata 
of learning, assembled there to draw fresh strength 
from the preacher s arguments, or to listen with a 
view of meeting them, or of weakening tbeir effect 
by means of those well-known journals, which are 
dangerous in proportion to the talent they dis 
play. Sometimes these critics and objectors are 

thoroughly in earnest. They are seeking How 

many of them are brought back by the sermons 
of one Lent ? Father Felix could tell us this 
secret ; preachers now-a-days deem themselves 
well rewarded for their labours, when one sheep 
returns to the fold. 

The brave band that draws near to the altar of 
Notre Dame after the retreat, is itself a noble 
answer to the spirit of criticism, which no longer 
attacks form, or religion, or the different ways of 
worshipping God, but God Himself. Pure atheism 
is no longer in vogue, but a system based entirely 
on the discoveries of a science which, incomplete 

* Pere Herambourg : Vertus. 
t Pere Finet, memoires. 


in itself, is necessarily incomplete iu its argu 

The servant of God who addresses these ad 
vanced, intelligent, learned men, must be yet more 
advanced and intelligent, if not more learned, than 
they are ; he must know all the turns and wind 
ings of the road ; he must hear everything, learn 
everything, see everything. 

In the XVIIth century a much simpler task lay 
before the Christian preacher. He always needed 
energy, often courage ; he had to try and gain an 
ascendancy over the masses, to awaken the faith 
which was dormant, not extinct, in their hearts, 
and to guard them against their inclination to 
wards heresy. 

" Certainly," says Mgr. Dupanlonp, " although 
Bossuet heard from afar a dull sound of threaten 
ing impiety, he never could have foreseen the 
deluge of atheistical, materialist, and poaitiviafc 
doctrines, which sadden and alarm the present 

" Nor could Bossuet imagine the existence of 
the detestable and impions romances, which now- 
a-days, in Germany and France, seek to tarnish 
the adorable form of Jesus Christ. The good 
sense of the XVIIth century would not have borne 
such tilings, and I venture to say also that its 
noble language could not have expressed them." 

The eminent prelate thus sums up what we 
have to say of Christian preaching in the XVIIth, 
as compared with the XlXtk century. 

The diocese of Coutances was the first to profit 
by Father Eudes apostolic labours. He was 
summoned by its bishop, Mgr. de Matignon, who 
eaw no better means of arousing faith and restor 
ing diwcipline in a district where heresy had been 
making its way for seventy years, with little oppo 
sition from an ignorant and disorderly clergy. 

Father Eudes went to Lessay, St. Sauveur-le- 


Vicomte, la Haie du Puits, Montebonrg and 

Cherbourg. His persevering efforts were every 
where successful, and such a general change in 
manners was visible, that when he went to fresh 
places he was hailed as an angel sent from heaven 
to help sinners. 

The Carmelites of Caen joined their prayers to 
his missionary labours. They visited the Blessed 
Sacrament every day for his intention : " Our 
Reverend Mother," they write, " having given us 
permission to apply and offer all our works to 
Jesus for the success of our mission, I use this 
word, your charity having associated us with 

In 1634, Mgr. d Angennes, who nine years be 
fore had admitted him to deacon s orders, claimed 
bis assistance. He must have felt a kind of regret 
at his apparent preference for neighbouring dio 
ceses, but soon the same good results which had 
followed his other missions were seen at Beuou- 
ville, Avenay, Evruy and Villers Bocage. 

Mgr. Harlay de Saucy, Bishop of St. Malo, and 
formerly priest of the Oratory, begged for his ser 
vices, and Father Eudes spent the summer of 
1636 in labouring at Pleurtint, Plover and Can- 

His inclination always led him back to Nor 
mandy. He went to Fresnes, and worked wonders 
there. On this occasion his special talent for the 
conversion of Protestants began to appear, and he 
received the abjuration of thirteen. The most 
prejudiced heretics could not withstand his gentle 
ness, simplicity, and winning manners, which 
were accompanied by a most edifying and con 
sistent life. All resistance was at an end, if once 
a dispassionate hearing could be gained for his 
eloquent explanations of the most difficult points. 
In dealing with Protestantism, he used to pro 
pound these three questions : " Is there a Church 


ichich we are bound to believe 1 Where is that 
Church ? What does that Church say?" 

The annals of the congregation give a proof of 
the deep impression made by Father Eudes mis 
sions, in the fact that forty years later, when his 
brethren visited the scenes of his labours, they 
found the very prayers and practices of devotion 
which he had taught to the preceding generation 
still in use, and the forms established in the Con 
gregation were still observed there. 

Father Eudes made acquaintance with all, and 
visited much, but never accepted food anywhere. 

He succeeded in establishing the custom of 
family prayer at Fresnes, thinking this union of 
the heads and members of Christian families, be 
fore or after the toils of the day, an excellent means 
of preserving the good that had been wrought. 

The missionaries needed rest, especially after 
their work at Fresnes ; they returned to Caen, 
and Father Eudes followed them there to refresh 
himself by study, prayer, and the direction of 
consciences. Thus passed the greater part of the 
year 1637. 

A mission at Hi, his birth-place, was the only 
one which he gave at this time. 

He was the child of the soil ; and during many 
years* he had only once spent a very short time 
there for his health, before he went to Auber- 

What joy must have filled the hearts of his 
father and mother and his whole family, when the 
holy priest was again seated by their fireside, 
when he led their devotions, and blessed them, 
after having bowed his head before the venerable 
authors of his existence ! What were their 
private conversations ? Perhaps, like St. Francis* 

* M. de Boisy always gave many proofs of his veneration for 
his son ; he loved to hear him say Mass, to receive Communion 
from his hands, to be present at his sermons. Yet more, he 


of Sales, in the chapel of his ancestral castle, ho 
may have had to deal with Isaac and Martha in 
the tribunal of penance, thus becoming at once 
their father and their son. 

We have knelt with a full heart at the altar, 
where, with his own hands, he gave them the 
Bread of Life.* 

Did Francis de Mezeray manage to leave hi a 
studies in Paris, and share the joy of his family ? 
We cannot answer positively, but there is a tradi 
tion at Hi that the great elm tree, still to he seen 
near the church, was planted by him the day that 
Louis XIV. was born. This was the 5th of Sep 
tember, 1638, and we may suppose that Mezeray, 
who was then ill or recovering from illness, chose 
the time of his brother s mission at Hi, to come 
there in search of fresh strength. To use the 
words of M. de Levavasseur, whom we love to 
quote, " When tradition is merely a chronicle of 
scandals beyond the tomb, it is almost always a 
contemptible calumny ; but when it gives as a fact 
an occurrence in itself probable and indifferent, 
we may receive it without hesitation." 

What did the brothers say to each other in 
those hours of open-hearted intercourse so re 
freshing to the wearied spirit ? The elder was 
labouring for all men, the younger for himself. 
Francis could describe to Father Eudes the 
rugged arena on which he would one day have to 
fight. Already he saw in the distance the acade 
mic chair that he himself was ere long to occupy. 

chose him for his spiritual guide. His example made the whole 
family wish to go to Confession to the man of God ; he was 
willing 1 , and all, from Mdme. de Boisy down to the servants, 
took him for their director. Life of St. Francis of Sales. 

* We have never forgotten a letter from Rome, which was 
read some years ago in our presence. A young priest, (after 
wards Mgr. de Carcassonne,) informed the family at La Fleche, 
that he had just said his first Mass, and added that he did not 
know how to thank God for having allowed him to give the Liv 
ing Bread to her from whom he had received life. 


He was thoroughly acquainted with the men and 
the affairs of the day, and his information regard 
ing the things of the world was not useless to the 
man of God, who was to evangelize the most 
demoralized parishes of the capital, and to speak 
in the palace of the kings of France. 

Charles Eudes du d Houay, now surgeon at 
Argentan, and in an official position, certainly 
came to Hi, to receive encouragement from the 
brother, who seemed already to shine with saintly 
glory. In the course of that very year he gave 
proof of self-devotion similar to that which had 
added such weight to the preaching of the minis 
ter of the plague-stricken in 1627. 

During his short stay at home, God gave Father 
Eudes consolations heyond his hopes. Everyone 
was ready to profit hy his instructions. His deeds 
were well known to he in accordance with his 
words, for Ecouche was not far from Ri. When 
lie preached self-sacrifice, his hearers well knew 
how nohly he had practised it, in circumstances of 
the greatest danger. He never again re-visited 
Ri, except on the occasion of his father s death ; 
but the impression he left behind him there was 
shewn, even in 1853, by the eagerness with which 
the inhabitants celebrated l>is memory, when his 
medallion, with that of his brothers, was placed oil 
their school house. 

Natural inclination would, no doubt, have led 
him to tarry for a time with his loved parents, 
nnd enjoy the fruits of his labours. But he was 
not his own, and he soon left them to resume hia 
missionary work. He went to Bremoy, in the 
diocese of Bayenx, then, at the request of Mdme. 
de Budos, to Estrehan, and in the end of the year 
1638, to Pont 1 Eveque. 

This was a fatal year at Argentan. A plague- 
stricken traveller had arrived there, and died at 
the inn of the Trois Sauciers, opposite the church 


of St. Martin. The contagion spread fearfully; 
in four months nearly 2,000 persons were carried 
off. All the inhabitants of the town and neigh 
bourhood who could go, fled from the devastating 
scourge. Two decrees of the Parliament, com 
manding the public functionaries to return, were 
completely disregarded. 

But Charles Eudes du d Houay, the worthy 
magistrate, went to and fro in the deserted streets, 
and with the assistance of the apothecary, Thomas 
Prouverre, and his wife, tended the sick, and 
buried the dead. He thus followed the steps of 
Father Eudes, and gained undying glory, which 
descends to his posterity. 

All honour then to our intrepid ancestor, and 
thanks to the grateful country, which, though two 
hundred years have passed away, still keeps his 
memory fresh. 

The plague of 1585 had reaped a harvest in the 
Eudes family, but on this occasion God preserved 
the younger brother, as He had already preserved 
the elder a short time before. 

The mission of Pont 1 Eveqne thoroughly es 
tablished Father Eudes reputation, and his suc 
cess in country places now opened to him a larger 
field of labour. 

The great cities claimed his services ; Caen had 
certainly the first right. Father Eudes could not 
refuse to go, while he felt that such a theatre 
taxed his powers to the utmost. He consulted 
with his fellow-labourers on the means to be em 
ployed, and urged them to prepare for the work as 
lie was himself about to do. 

His preparation was no common one, for al 
though he was very learned, and was considered 
by those who heard him speak on the most diffi 
cult subjects, to be one of the ablest men of the 
age, although his natural facility had been won 
derfully increased by constant practice, he never, 


on any occasion, ascended the pulpit without mak 
ing himself ready beforehand. He thought that 
one who preaches unprepared tempts God even 
more than one who prays unprepared.* 

He chose the Church of St. Stephen, the rest 
ing-place of its founder, William the Conqueror, 
as his centre of operations. Although this church 
is one of the largest in the kingdom, it could not 
contain the multitudes who sought to attend his 
daily instructions. As many of them seldom suc 
ceeded in hearing him, he was requested to prench 
the Advent and Lent in one of the principal 
churches of the city. 

Renewed fervour was soon visible in every 
family ; many Protestants, overcome by his irre 
sistible words, returned to the bosom of the Church. 
His W 7 ords flowed forth simply and freely, be 
seemed to converse with his audience, and his 
friends and admirers feared that this simplicity 
would compromise his established reputation for 
eloquence. But they were mistaken ; almost as 
soon as he began to speak souls were gained ; 
opponents were vanquished before they had had 
time to do battle. The following striking incident 
is mentioned amongst many others. 

An unhappy ecclesiastic not only led an irregu 
lar life himself, but drew many young persons 
into similar evil courses. Father Eudes was in 
the pulpit ; an interior voice informed him of the 
presence of this impenitent sinner, who had been 
impelled, by curiosity, or it may be, by a last 
effort of divine grace, to come to the church. 

He suddenly cut short the thread of his dis 
course, and without mentioning his auditor -by 
name, anathematized his licentious life in terms 
at once so strong and so measured, that the hard 
ened heart was touched, and a few days later this 

* P. Herambourg, vertus. 


poor man sought one of the holy missionary s 
companions, and at his feet laid bare the depth of 
bis wounds.* 

The preceding pages mnst have served to shew 
that the three brothers E tides were of the true 
" Norman race of conquerors and founders, a 
haughty, strong and dominant race, which has 
left a track of light and civilization wherever it 
Las passed." 

"John Eudes was of that helieving pious Nor 
man race," said M. Gr. Levavasseur, in 1853, when 
the medallions of the three brothers were inaugur 
ated. " He was ardent and bold," to use the words 
of Huet, Bishop of A.vranches, another celebrity 
of this province prolific in great men, a province 
which has also the honourable distinction of being 
specially devout to our Lady, for where have her 
praises been sung more than in Normandy, the 
eacred land of the Palinods ?t Was not the Feast 

* Chancellor Segnier was sent to Normandy by Louia XIII., 
in 1610, to repress the sedition known by the name of the Sedi 
tion of the Barefooted. He was invested with the highest autho 
rity, and was in every seiise of the word a most important per 
son, having 1 , for the time-being, power over life and death. A 
diary or journal of this mission, kept by the Chancellor s Secre 
tary, is preserved in the Library of the Imperial Military School. 
The following entry appears under date 17th March, 1640. 
" Soon after my Lord Chancellor had dined, I brought him the 
petitions of the prisoners at JBayeux, and he approved all the 
orders, to the number of 50 or 60, including the arrest ; marking 
with his own hand, at the side of thosd which had not been 
heard, the word good ; and not touching those which had been 
heard, for he approved them all; with regard to the general 
arrest, he thought it well that it should be signed in Paris, and 
he commanded me at the same time to do the same with regard 
to the prisons of Caen, as he had done for Bayeux, a petition 
for the former having been made by Father Eudes, a priest of the 
Oratory, and a, great servant of God, who is preaching; this year 
in the said town. I have therefore been unable to be present at 
the answer of the Rector, who had invited me as well as the 
other gentlemen of the council," (Diary or journal of Chancel 
lor Segnier s travels in Normandy, after the rising of the Bare 
footed. M. do Verthament.) 

f Palinode or Palinot: thia name was given to poema com 
posed in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed 
Virgin. Prizes were given for the best at Kouen, Caen, and 


of tbe Immaculate Conception called tbe Feast of 
the Normans ? and, but tbe other day, when our 
Lady of Victories was solemnly crowned at Paris, 
was it not again a Norman,* a countryman of Jobn 
Eudes, an inheritor of bis virtues and apostolic 
zeal, who stood at tbe foot of her statue, and pre 
sented tbe dazzling diadem to tbe astonished peo 
ple ? 

Father Eudes is about to enter a barren land ; 
tbe men who have looked on him as their disciple, 
their fellow-worker, and even their example, will 
soon be seen opposing his plans. He will stand 
in the position of the accused. We are anxious 
to make him known beforehand, as be really was, 
ever ardent and courageous, when be looked on 
himself as tbe instrument of tbe Almighty; ever 
simple, humble and modest, when he alone was 

Let us bear in mind that during his missions 
he never omitted his Mass, he considered the 
Holy Sacrifice as the motive power of his preach 
ing. " When we are united to Jesus Christ," he 
used to say, " when He dwells within us, what a 
means we have of gaining hearts to Him !" As 
he knelt in tbe pulpit be bumbled himself pro 
foundly, and from the depths of his own nothing 
ness he cried to our Lord, " Veni, Domine Jesu, 
veni," praying Him to come to him and make 
him nothing, and to come to others and purify 

His mission at Caen was followed by one at 
Mesnil Manger, a parish in tbe diocese of Lisieux. 
Mgr. Cospean, tbe bishop, induced Father Eudes 
to labour for the rest of the year 1640 under bis 
direction. This prelate was distinguished by bis 
virtues and abilities ; be shewed tbe greatest 
esteem for Father Eudes, writing to him in these 

* The venerable priest of our Lady of Victories, Father 
Dufriche Desgenettes. 


terms : " Iterum vale, Pater, Prater ac Fill mi." 
Again I greet you, my father, brother, and son. 

Father Eudes only left him when called to be 
superior of the Oratory at Caen. He accepted 
this office under the fall belief that it would not 
interfere with his accustomed labours. The later 
part of the year 1641 was devoted to missions at 
Urville, in the diocese of Seez, at Ermilly and 
Laudelles in that of Coutauces, at Coutauces it 
self, and at Pont-Audemar. 

Oar indefatigable champion was ever to be 
found in the thick of the fray, and must have 
understood better than any one how much the 
work of missions required the co-operation of zea 
lous, devoted and able men. 

Father Eudes must be regarded as one of the 
first originators and warmest promoters of eccle 
siastical conferences. From 1641 he adopted the 
practice of giving these conferences at the same 
time as his missions. He began at Eemilly, in 
the diocese of Coutances. During his mission at 
llouen, which lasted from the beginning of the 
year 1642 until near Easter, he not only preached 
every day to the people, but gave two conferences 
each week for ecclesiastics. In his memorial pre 
sented to the Assembly of Clergy in 1645, he 
mentions that two or three hundred priests used 
to attend on these occasions. 

While giving missions he always reserved some 
Lours for consultation with his fellow labourers 
regarding any difficulties which might arise in 
their work, and often gave them valuable advice as 
to the course to be pursued. 

Were not these conferences, (which have been 
resumed in the present century,) like the germ of 
a new congregation ? It is clear that Father 
Eudes never lost sight of Cardinal de Berulle s 
original intention. 




We have spoken of the circumstances under 
which God had raised up Father Peter de Berulle, 
to undertake among the French clergy a work of 
reformation similar to that carried on with such 
success hy St. Philip Neri and St. Charles Bor- 
romeo, in Rome and at Milan. We shall see that 
he was the founder of a congregation, whose 
ohject, as is evident from all his acts, was not 
only the training of young ecclesiastics in virtue 
and the duties of their calling, hut also the direc 
tion of devoted men who were ready to consecrate 
their lives to continuing this important work. 

Among the latter were M. Bourdoise, instructor 
of the community of St. Nicholas de Chardonnet, 
and St. Vincent of Paul, who, being likewise 
called to reform the clergy, spent two years in 
retreat under Father de Berulle. We have seen, 
how Father Eudes was led to place himself in the 
Lauds of Father de Berulle, who foresaw his future 


usefulness to the Church, and impressed his own 
principles so deeply on his heart, that he never in 
after life deviated from the line laid down by the 
holy Cardinal.* 

Divine Providence was secretly and silently pre 
paring men and events for the foundation of semi 

Father Ollier s biographer informs us, that 
" although the Congregation of the Oratory had 
been originally intended to establish these institu 
tions throughout the kingdom, yet it devoted itself 
almost exclusively to missions, to the care of 
parishes, and especially, as its founder had appre 
hended, to the direction of numerous schools, 
until at length his successor, Father de Condren, 
carried out the purpose of Divine Providence, not 
by himself founding seminaries, but by preparing 
those whom God selected to do so." 

Of Father de Condren, M. de Berulle used to 
eay that he had received the spirit of the Oratory 
from his cradle : his reputation for sanctity was very 
great ; Cardinal Richelieu spoke of him with 
wonder as a man inaccessible to the schemes of his 
policy. Louis XIII. venerated him as the holiest 
man in his kingdom.! St. Vincent de Paul said 
that he had never found his equal : non. est inven- 
tus simili illi. St. Chantal s relations with him 
left such an impression on her mind, that she said, 
"If God has given our blessed founder to the 

* " The progress of the Oratory, the happy effects of his in 
structions and his example, the signal services he had rendered 
to the state, by carrying on negotiations with the Pope, with 
the queen-mother, and with Gaston of Orleans, his difficult and 
dangerous mission to England, and, above all, his distinguished 
virtues and his reputation for piety, had long made Louis XIII. 
wish to obtain a cardinal s hat for the superior of the Oratory. 
The humble priest vainly begged the king to do nothing of the 
kind. Urban VIII. commanded him on his obedience to accept 
the dignity which was conferred on him in the consistory of 
August 30, 1627." L Orato ire de France au xviiime et an 

f Yie de M. Oilier. Notes. 


Church to teach men, it seems to me that He has 
made Father de Condren capahle of teaching 

Father de Condren became the especial director 
of souls who aimed at perfection, without, how 
ever, neglecting others, for he won the title of the 
great converter. 

He saw Father Ollier s real vocation, and kept him 
back from the episcopate, that he might be able to 
employ himself in a work which still remains 
amongst us, the Seminary of St. Sulpice. It is 
on record that when Father Oilier was presented to 
St. Francis of Sales at Lyons, as an unruly child, 
he foretold that he would become a great servant 
of the Church. 

Father de Condren expected that the infant 
congregation of St. Sulpice would arouse the zeal 
of the clergy and that of the Oratory; he made 
over the care of the Schools to one of his priests, 
and the government of the congregation to a vicar- 
general, so that he might be able to devote him 
self exclusively to the direction of chosen ecclesi 
astics, a direction of which the ulterior bearing 
was not yet divulged. He saw that the Ora 
tory was not fulfilling the obligations imposed 
by its original rules; he saw yet further, as will 
soon appear. 

Quite against the will of this holy priest, Cardi 
nal de Richelieu had made him undertake the 
charge of the conscience of Gaston of Orleans, the 
lightest and most volatile prince in the world. 
The reconciliation between the king and his 
brother, at Orleans, on the 8th of February, 
1639, was entirely due to Father de Condren, as 
Richelieu himself admits.* He was not only 
great in the Church, but a person of considerable 
importance in state affairs. 

* Lettra du Cardinal de Richelieu au P. de Condren. CDXII. 
Lettres Missives. 


Such, then, was the eminent priest who natu 
rally became Father Eudes director after the death 
of Cardinal de Berulle. All these details are im 
portant ; the halo that surrounded the master s 
Lead casts its brightness upon his disciple. 

Father Eudas was fall of fervour, his heart 
seemed overflowing with piety and self-abnega 

Therefore, although the statutes of the Congre 
gation of the Oratory did not permit either solemn 
.or simple vows, and although Father de Condren 
himself opposed the idea, he insisted on making 
to him a vow of steadfastness and a vow of obedi 

Father de Condren had formed his own opinion 
with regard to Father Eudes and the Oratory. 
He knew that this disciple of Cardinal de Berulle 
would carry on his work under another form, and 
would at the appointed moment separate himself 
from his colleagues. He had therefore sufficient 
reasons for objecting to any engagement tending 
to bind one who was in due time to go forth. 

* As to the vows which Father Eudes made to Father de 
Condren, some time after his entrance into the Oratory, they 
were not solemn vows, but were made merely to satisfy his own 
devotion, and were of a nature from which a person could be 
easily released on sufficient grounds. The original is preserved 
in the Imperial Archives, and there is a copy in the archives of 
Rouen, which begins by the following words : " Extract from 
the official register kept at Caen, of two vows pronounced by 
J. Eudes, priest of the Congregation of the Oratory, in presence 
of the Very Rev. Father Ch. de Condren, superior general of the 
Congregation, and received by him, after repeated refusals on the 
ground that they were contrary to the use of the Congregation, 
and earnest prayers made on many different occasions in the 
course of several years by Father Eudes; as Father Eudes has 
caused to be recorded in the said register, wishing that it may 
have due weight, and that the said vows may be the better 
known to all, one of which is a vow of steadfastness, and the 
other of obedience." (Above, as a heading, is J. M.) Compared 
with the original by me, H., priest, first general, at the Oratory, 
20th September, 1656, Passot, priest. 

The original of the vow of steadfastness in Father Eudes 
own hand-writing, is in the Imperial Archives at Paris. We 
shall have hereafter to show the use made of this extract. 


Father de Condren died in 1641 ; be had 
refused the cardinal s hat, and the archhishoprica 
of Rheims and of Lyons. " Since the days of the 
apostles," says Father Eudes, " perhaps no one 
Las equalled Father de Condren in the extent and 
depth of his knowledge of the most sublime mys 
teries of religion." 

He was succeeded as superior-general by Father 
Francis de Bourgoing, who was born in Paris in 
1585, and died in 1662. Before entering tba 
Oratory, he had been parish priest of Clichy, 
where St. Vincent de Paul took his place, Cardinal 
de Berulle having recommended him to accept the 
charge. Father de Bourgoing was one of the car 
dinal s earliest disciples; he wrote some books of 
piety which were much esteemed. Bossuet preached 
Lis funeral sermon. 

Let us now return to Father Eudes, whose his 
tory we have brought down to 1641, the date of 
Father de Condren s death ; we seem indeed 
scarcely to have left him, so closely are these 
digressions connected with him ; and happy is 
the biographer whose path is illuminated by so 
many glorious lights. 

In his various wanderings, Father Eudes had 
often met with unfortunate beings, fallen angels 
whom want or passion had cast into the depths of 

Many of them, as they heard the priest s words, 
had longed to return from the paths of sin ; the 
greater their fault, the greater tenderness and 
compassion had he shown towards them, and he 
bad never failed to stretch out a helping hand to 
them. But he knew that the world is merciless, 
and casts aside those who have given up domestic 
joys to become its playthings; be felt that he had 
little power to save these poor young women, whom 
his departure left destitute of shelter, support, 
and counsel ; be saw that want and misery would 


again seize upon them, and plunge them more 
hopelessly into the abyss. Waifs and strays from 
the wreck, the waves seem to play with them for a 
while, and then dash them against the cruel 

At his request some pious persons had received 
several of these unhappy heings into their houses, 
but such a plan was attended with many practical 
objections. Father Eudes had to try to gather them 
together under the same roof, and to place them 
under the special direction of those who would 
undertake to bring them back to a better life. 
The idea was good, but difficult of execution : how 
ever, God provided the way. 

A woman named Madeleine Lamy, who was 
herself in great poverty, had received some of 
these penitents into her lowly abode; she taught 
them to live according to the precepts of the 
Gospel, endeavoured to enable them to earn their 
bread, and provided for their most pressing 
wants by means of alms, which Father Eudes and 
other charitable persons placed in her bauds. 

One day Father Eudes went with M. de Ber- 
nieres and M. and Mdme. Blouet de Camilly, to 
visit a church in the neighbourhood. Madeleine 
Lamy appeared suddenly before them, and thus 
addressed them : " Where are you going? Wan 
dering about churches, and gazing at the pictures, 
after which you think yourselves very pious ; that 
is not the way to do the business : you should set 
to work and found a house for those poor girls 
\vho are being lost for want of care and of a way 
of living." 

These simple energetic words made a great im 
pression on her hearers. They began to consider 
how they could satisfy her, and when she returned 
again to the charge the day was gained. One of 
them undertook to pay the rent of a house, another 


to furnish it : M. and Mdme. Camilly promised 
the corn required for the food of the penitents. 

A house near the Millet Gate, opposite the chapel 
of St. Gratien, at Caen, was hired; on the 25th 
November, 1641, the penitents were installed 
there, and, with the aid of some pious women, who 
had consented to take care of this little flock, all 
was so far arranged by the 8th of December, the 
feast of the Immaculate Conception, that they 
began to keep enclosure and to observe Rules 
drawn up by Father Eudes. 

He often visited these poor girls, gave them in 
structions in private, and endeavoured to provide 
temporal assistance for them, in order that they 
might acquire a taste for a mode of life so different 
from the one they had given up. Mgr. d Angennea 
approved of all that had been done, and gave per 
mission for the erection of a chapel in the house, 
whose spiritual direction was entrusted to Father 

Much opposition was afterwards made to this 
work, although it was by no means a novelty ;* 
difficulties only served to perfect it, and led to its 
establishment as a religious order, which has 
taken root in different parts of France and in other 

* The general idea of giving a refuge to women who had gone 
astray, with the hope of bringing them back to virtue, is not 
new. The Order of Penitence of St. Madeleine was founded in 
1272, by a citizen of Marseilles, named Bernard. He waa 
seconded in this good work by many other persons, who laboured 
for the conversion of the courtezans of the town. The society 
was erected into a religious order, under the rule of St. Augustin, 
by Pope Nicholas III. It is said that another religious order 
composed of penitent women was formed under the same rule. 

The Congregation of Penitents of the Madeleine at Paris 
owes its origin to the preaching of Father Tisserant, Cordelier, 
who having converted many of these women, established this in 
stitution to receive such as after their example might wish to 
lead a better life. About 1294 the King of France gave them 
the Hotel de Bohaines, Bahaigne, or Boheme, once called the 
Hotel de Nesle, but latterly after the Duke of Bohemia, who 
spent some time there. 


countries, and has always preserved its primitive 

Such was the modest origin of two institutions, 
which, strictly speaking, are but one ; the order 
of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and the 
order of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shep 
herd, which branched off from it in 1827, but 
equally acknowledges Father Eudes as its founder. 

The missive letters of Cardinal de Kichelieu 
furnish ample proof of the extent of his genius, 
and of the immense amount of business of differ 
ent kinds which he carried on at once, and without 
any very efficient assistance. 

With the exception of Father Joseph, whose 
importance is amply shown in these same letters,* 
his instruments were not generally first-rate men, 
but he was able to give them, when occasion 
required, something of his own power. We have 
been struck with the resemblance between his 
correspondence and that of Napoleon the First. 
Each speaks with the tone of a master. 

Richelieu had crushed the material power of 
Protestantism, and scattered its principal leaders. 
The taking of La Rochelle, and of the chief places 
occupied by the Protestants in the centre of 
France, bad diminished their strength rather than, 
their number. The government had not now to 
deal with it as a religious and political party. 

But it was not enough to have repressed these 
innovators, and especially the ambitious nobles who 
made the Reformation a basis for their perpetual 
agitations ; they must be brought back to unity, 
and this noble and difficult undertaking was not 
a work for politicians, but for holy and zealous 
Catholic ministers. Can it be supposed that 
Richelieu would have shrunk from revoking the 

* To Father Joseph : " an unlimited power to make peace 
(with Germany) is sent to you." (Letter from the Cardinal. 


Edict of Nantes, if be bad thought it necessary or 
fitting at tbis time to take awuy from tbe Protes 
tants tbe rigbts of liberty of conscience, freedom 
of worsbip, and admission to public employments, 
wbicb bad been conceded to tbem ? He knew 
tbat tbe standing of tbe secular clergy was not 
sucb as to make tbem likely to Overcome tbe pre 
judices of men who bad been brougbt up to bate 
priests wbom tbey could not respect. He tbere- 
fore proceeded with prudence, and restrained tbe 
zeal of tbe over-impetuous.* Tbe only suitable 
remedy after tbe so-called religious warsf (from 
1562 to 1598,) consisted in providing a solid edu 
cation for young ecclesiastics, and training tbem in 
regularity, piety, and learning. 

As early as 1625 Charles Godefrey, doctor of tbe 
Faculty of Tbeology of Paris, and parish-priest of 
Cretteville, in tbe diocese of Coutances, bad pre 
sented to tbe assembly of clergy a treatise on the 
usefulness and necessity of seminaries.! 

* Mgr. Bertrand d Eschaux, Archbishop of Tours, writing 1 to 
Cardinal de Richelieu in March 1635, wonders that he has 
counted in vain on his assistance with regard to his project of 
suppressing Protestant preaching at St. Maixent. This silence 
of the Cardinal s proves that he was not too ready to second the 
over-ardent zeal of men less wise than himself in their acts of 
useless provocation against a religion from which he thought 
nothing could at that time be required save loyalty to the king 
and country. He sought to combat it by other arms. (Missive 
letters of the Cardinal. Notes.) 

f The term religious wars is generally employed in history to 
designate the three wars of the 16th century between Catholics 
and Protestants. The name is also applied to those of 1621 and 
162516^9, under Louis XIII., as well as to the war of Cevennes, 
consequent on the revocation of the edict of Nantes. 

J In 1625 Doctor Godefroy suggested the idea of seminaries 
such as now exist ; just as Captain Lanoue in Henry the 
Fourth s time, suggested that of military colleges. But the 
priest s idea was realized sooner than the soldier s. We have 
read with the greatest attention the analysis given of this trea 
tise by Father Costil in the Annals of the Congregation of 
Jesus and Mary, and have been able to form an idea of the effect 
which it must have produced when presented to the assembly of 
clergy. We observe particularly that in conclusion he declares 
that he knows no more efficacious remedy for the evils which 


This treatise made so great an impression on 
all who heard it, and especially on Cardinal de 
Richelieu, that they immediately sought to take 
measures for meeting the want indicated. 

But the moment appointed by Divine Providence 
had not yet arrived, and there never was a case to 
which the proverb " Man proposes, but God dis 
poses," could be more fitly applied. 

We give the answer of the clergy, as inserted in 
the authentic act drawn up by the Bishop of 
Chartres, and read in the afternoon of the 22nd 
December; this document gives an exact idea of 
the state of things, and furnishes an answer to all 
the attacks afterwards made upon Father Eudes. 

"The cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and other 
ecclesiastics of the Assembly of Clergy, wishing to 
see the hierarchy restored to its primitive glory, 
and considering the great benefits which will 
accrue to the whole Church from the good life 
and devotion of its pastors, desiring also to remedy 
the scandals caused by the ignorance and imper 
fections of some among them, have approved and 
authorized the plan proposed to them by Master 
Charles Godefroy, parish priest of Cretteville, for 
the formation of colleges of holy exercises through 
out the provinces of the kingdom, as a sovereign and 

are deplored, than the establishment of a society composed of a 
few very zealous persons, which will take this charge, and devote 
itself to the restoration of poor churches, and to the salvation 
of souls whose guides are unworthy ; a society stable in its 
nature, always preserving the same spirit, the same mode of 
direction, and the same laws, and helping the bishops all the 
more earnestly because they can never be sure but that their 
successors may overturn what they have established. Doctor 
Godefroy wished that the members of this society should live 
as befits ecclesiastics called to labour for the salvation of others, 
and all were to be priests, because they were to regenerate their 
brethren. (Annals.) 

Father Eudes established nothing but what had here been 
suggested ; it was Father de Berulle s plan, not realized by the 
Congregation which he founded in 161 1, and which did not ap 
pear to Doctor Godefroy, in 1625, to have succeeded in the 
regeneration of the clergy. 


efficacious means for the attainment and preserva 
tion of Christian perfection. Their lordships have 
exhorted him, and given him power and authority, 
to form and establish a congregation of ecclesi 
astics, and to build colleges and seminaries in 
order to carry out and practise the articles con 
tained in his book of Holy Exercises ; in such, 
colleges and seminaries he and his companions 
may celebrate holy Mass, preach, teach, and do 
everything else calculated to promote the welfare 
of the Church, or necessary and fitting in order to 
the perfect execution of so holy a project, subject 
to the good pleasure of the bishop of the diocese. 
And, as a token of their special approval, their 
lordships have promised to give him every 
assistance, favour, and protection, and at their 
visitations and synods to invite the ecclesiastics of 
their dioceses, and especially the parish priests, 
to practise these Exercises; and, foreseeing that 
this work will succeed, to the honour of the 
Gallican Church, and the satisfaction of the other 
estates of this realm, they order that it shall be 
made known throughout all the provinces by the 
diligence of the general agents. Given at the 
Assembly, 22nd day of December, 1625. 


" President." 

There is matter for serious reflection in thia 
document : it bears date December 1625, yet it 
was well known to the whole Catholic world that, 
in 1611, Father de Berulle had established a Con 
gregation intended to fulfil all the above condi 
tions. Power to make a foundation was here 
given to a priest, who, when he gave his solemn 
warning, never seems to have himself thought of 
carrying into execution a work already on trial 
under the care of one of the most eminent among 
the French clergy. 


The essentials for this work were, men raised 
up by God, and the appointed time. It would 
therefore seem, that when the Assembly of the 
Clergy promulgated the preceding resolutions, 
they did not think that the men had already 
appeared, or that the right moment had hitherto 

Nothing was yet done. In the correspondence 
of Richelieu, we find that he had another unreal 
ized project, for the foundation of a college or 
society of twenty doctors. 

In our work on military education before and 
after 1789,* we have spoken of the institution for 
the young nobility, established by Louis XIII., t 
at Cardinal Richelieu s request. His missive let 
ters of 1636 speak of another idea, of which this 
was merely the simplification, viz., an academy 
for 1,000 gentlemen, of whom 400 were to be 
destined for the priesthood, and 600 for the army. 
The former were to be there from the age of 12 
to 20, and the latter from 15 to 18. A seminary 
and a military school were thus to be carried on 
under the same roof, united by their common 
patriotism ; such was the Cardinal s scheme, for 
at the bottom of the memorial he wrote the words, 
" Lilii junctse manebunt."J 

This impracticable idea was somewhat in keep 
ing with the position of one who was a prince of 
the Church, a minister of state, and, at the same 
time, General of the King s armies in Italy, 
grand master and superintendant of navigation. 

Among the same missive letters we find another 

* Institutions d Education militaire avant et apres 1789, par 
M. C. de Montzey 1866-67. 

f Mercure Fra^aus. T. xxi. page 228. 
Lettres missives de Richelieu, notes. 

10th April, 1630. " Cardinal de Richelieu, General of the 
King s armies in Italy. The governors and soldiers will all be 
hung, if they wait for the siege and the cannon." (Siege of 
Bagnolet.) Lettres missives. 


memorial of the Cardinal s, touching the residence 
of bishops, and seminaries to be established in 
each diocese, by means of a contribution levied on 
the abbeys, on the organization, the working and 
the results of colleges. 

Notwithstanding the pressure of business, which 
must have told on his precarious health, Richelieu 
never lost sight of the question of seminaries, but 
it was not till 1637 or 1638 that he was able to 
take any decisive measures. He entrusted all 
details to Father Joseph, who had already drawn 
up a plan for the establishment of a seminary in 
the College of Bourgogne, at Paris, and selected 
for its director Father d Authier de Sisgau of 
Marseilles, instructor of the missionaries of the 
clergy, a society afterwards known by the name of 
Congregation of priests of the Blessed Sacrament. 
This Father was at the time at Valence, where 
he had been sent to establish a seminary, believed to 
have been the first founded in the kingdom. He was 
about to proceed to Paris with some of his com 
panions, when he was arrested by the tidings of 
Father Joseph s death, at Ruet, on the 18th of 
December, 1638. 

Father Joseph died in the arms of Richelieu, 
who, at this very time, was taking fresh measures 
to obtain a cardinal s hat for him. His removal 
led to the elevation of Mazarin, who now became 
the first candidate for that high dignity.* 

It was not till two years after the death of his 
valued and able confidant, that Richelieu reverted 

* A note added by Richelieu to a dispatch to M. de Brassac, 
ambassador at Rome, dated Sept. 4th, 1631, proves how much 
esteemed Mazarin then was at the Court of France. 

" Monsieur Mazarin has shewn so much address and zeal in 
the negotiation of the peace, that I write you these few words 
to say that you could do nothing more agreeable to his majesty 
than to let the Pope know how well satisfied he is with him, and 
to use any effort in your power to promote his appointment as 
nuncio for France, whenever the present nuncio is recalled to 
Rome to fill a higher position." (Lettres missives.) 


to the scheme of the seminaries, and when he did 
BO he cast his eyes on Father Eudes. Is not the 
Hand of Providence visible in all these delays, 
these fruitless projects, these unsuccessful at 
tempts from the days of St. Francis of Sales 
onwards, in the silence of Home, and in the ab 
sence of results, as far as seminaries were con 
cerned, from the creation of the Congregation of 
the Oratory ? All was ordered with a view to 
Father Eudes and those who were being prepared 
by Father de Condren, who on his death-bed gave 
them the clue to the riddle. 

We learn from Father Ollier s life that " the 
establishment of seminaries was generally con 
sidered an impossibility, and past experience cer 
tainly seemed to bear out the idea. During the 
eighty years which had elapsed since their founda 
tion had been ordered by the Council of Trent, no 
fruits of so welcome a decision had been seen 
in France. The chapters of some dioceses had 
rejected the decrees, in other places they had re 
mained unexecuted, or had only continued a short 
time in force." 

After deliberation in the Assembly of Clergy, 
in 1629, it had been decided that four general 
seminaries should be erected ; afterwards it was 
considered better to let each bishop take the initi 
ative in his own diocese. But of all the abortive 
efforts, that of the priests of the Oratory was most 
worthy of notice. " Twenty-two years after the 
foundation of their house of St. Magloire, at Paris, 
as a diocesan seminary, it had not yet begun its 
exercises. The fathers merely taught theology in 
some of their colleges to such students as were 
destined for the priesthood, and gave them a re 
treat of ten days before ordination."* 

In the mean time Father de Condren, General 

Vie de M. Oilier. 


of the Congregation of the Oratory, was drawing 
to the close of his earthly career, without having 
explained to the disciples whom he had trained 
with so much care, his views with regard to the 
establishment of seminaries. On this suhject his 
communications to them were obscure. In his 
opinion the hour had not yet come, and he 
thought, like St. Vincent de Paul, that a good 
work prematurely brought to light is half de 
stroyed. He lived surrounded by a number of 
priests, whom he filled with enthusiasm by means 
of his own sublime ideas of the sacerdotal office ; 
whose hearts he renewed and transformed, and 
whom he then sent forth full of burning zeal to 
the conquest of souls.* 

Father de Condren was a magnificent instru 
ment in the hands of God, whose purposes are 
covered with an impenetrable veil, and are gene 
rally only known by their results. His Providence 
did not allow seminaries to be founded by the 
Oratory, which was about to be tainted with the 
crooked and fatal errors of Jansenism, but its 
holiest General was chosen as the teacher and 
master of those who were to begin this great work, 
and on his death-bed he told them that " at last 
the time had come." 

He particularly advised them only to admit 
into their seminaries youths of sufficient age to 
have their judgment already formed, so that it 
might be seen after a time of probation whether 
they were really called to minister at the altar. 

" The thing that grieves me," said he to the 
assembled fathers, " is the schism which I foresee 
will come in two years." 

His prediction was but too true ; two years after 
bis death the open breach between Jansenism and 

* Vie de M. Oilier. 


the Church was made, on the occasion of the con 
demnation of the Augustinus, in 1643.* 

" It may seem surprising that Father de Con- 
dren, being the head of a numerous society, 
founded for the express purpose of training the 
clergy, should have given over its exterior govern 
ment to others, and have taken so much pains to 
prepare a few ecclesiastics to establish seminaries 
in France ; a work which, while he recognized its 
extreme importance to the Church, he neither 
undertook himself, nor committed to his own Con 
gregation. Again, it is very remarkable, that 
until tbat time, notwithstanding the original in 
tention of its founder, the Congregation was al 
most exclusively employed in missions, in the 
charge of parishes, and, above all, in the direction 
of colleges ; for the seminaries which it endea 
voured to establish were unsuccessful. As far as 
we may examine the intentions of God, it would 
seem that He thus provided for the preservation 
of the faith in the Church in France. It is well 
known that after Father de Condren s death, the 
greater portion of this congregation was corrupted 
by Jansenism, which always found champions 
amongst its members : if the training of the 
clergy had then been in the hands of such a body, 
we may easily imagine how disastrous to the 

The Congregation of the Oratory was originally connected with 
Jansenius and Father de St. Cyran, by whose influence it obtained 
a footing in Flanders, many of its members made common cause 
with those fathers of the new heresy. After the arrest of Father 
Siguenot, Father de Condren thought it necessary to make a 
public declaration of the real sentiments of the Oratory, which 
were open to suspicion. But after the death of this great oppo 
nent of heresy, the majority of the Congregation became tainted, 
BO that Father de Bourgoing, his successor, was almost without 
authority, and saw the most important positions given, in spite 
of his wishes, to men who had openly espoused Jansenism. 
Father Amelot, who was deprived of the dignity of superior at 
the house of St. Honore, laboured and suffered till his death in 
the endeavour to keep faith alive in the Oratory. (Histoire de 
M. Oilier, notes.) 


whole Gallican Church would have been the con 

The foregoing details, which we have borrowed 
from M. Ollier s life, make it clear to our mind 
that Father Eudes was obliged to leave the Oratory 
and to remain his own master, that he might use 
his liberty in accordance with the will of God. 

From the earliest days of the Oratory, Provi 
dence seems always to have hindered the accom 
plishment of its founder s intention with regard to 
the training of the clergy. Father de Berulle, 
being afraid that a taste for profane learning might 
divert the attention of his priests from the end of 
their institution, requested Pope Paul V. to forbid 
them, in his bull of institution, to take charge of 
schools ; but to his surprise no such prohibition 
was inserted in the document. This omission, so 
serious in its consequences, was no doubt due to 
a special design of Providence, for God enlightens 
the Sovereign Pontiff with regard to the founda 
tion of Keligious Orders. The Oratory, therefore, 
instead of devoting itself to seminaries, by which 
means so great an influence might have been ex 
ercised on the faith of both clergy and people, 
undertook, as Cardinal de Berulle had feared it 
would do, the care of a multitude of schools, 
although such a work was quite foreign to his 
original intention. It is also worthy of remark, 
that when himself making a number of small 

* " Had we not the indisputable evidence of many documents 
before us, we should scarcely believe the persistent attachment 
of some of the Oratorians to the new errors regarding grace. 
When Father Bourgoing, the general, ordered the books of 
Jansenius, the theses of Louvain, and the other works on grace 
condemned by Urban VIII., to be brought to the library of each 
house, that they might be kept under lock and key, so little 
regard was paid to this decision, that in some houses these books 
were read publicly in the refectory." M. Oilier formally objected 
to the establishment of tlie Oratory Fathers in the Faubourg 
St. Germain. " The best friends of these fathers cannot but fly 
from them." (Vie de M. Oilier, notes.) 


foundations which at once exhausted the strength 
of the body and changed its object, he expressed a 
conviction that he was thereby carrying out the 
will of God. 

In fact, as we shall soon see, the Oratory was 
so far from labouring to establish seminaries, that 
soon after Father de Condren s death it chose 
rather to let Father Endes go forth, than to give 
him the means of realizing the cherished purpose 
of its founder. 

God often leads chosen souls by a path invisible 
to others, while to them clear as a track of fire ; 
and so it was with the disciple of Cardinal de 
Berulle and Father de Condren. He knew that 
in order to found and direct seminaries ho must 
cease to be an Oratorian, and if the whole world 
had risen in arms againsk him, it could not have 
withheld him from obeying the voice that called 
him so powerfully. It was, no doubt, in accord 
ance with the designs of God, that when once his 
future plans were known, all agreement between 
himself and his superiors became impossible. 
" God makes men," says Lacordaire ; " when He 
means to use them, He gives them exactly what 
they need, by means of a series of unforeseen 
events, whose connection can only be perceived 
when they are contemplated as a whole. When I 
look back upon my entire life, I see that every 
thing converges to the point where I now stand." 

Ever since Father Eudes connection with the 
Congregation of the Oratory, he had seen that 
Father de Berulle s intention was the regeneration 
of the clergy by the establishment of seminaries. 
This was the basis of the edifice, and Father de 
Bourgoing, who succeeded Father de Condren in 
1641, expressed the same opinion some years 
later, in a letter to the Cardinals of the Propa 

" The time has come" exclaimed Father de 


Conch-en, as he died; "men are ready and God 
wills it." Such was Father Eudes interpretation 
of his master s last confidence. He therefore 
obeyed the word of command, as our brave officers 
before Sebastopol cleared the barrier that separated 
them from the foe, when the moment appointed 
by their commander had come. 

Meanwhile, Mgr. de Harlay, Archbishop of 
Bouen, summoned him to give a mission at the 
celebrated Abbey of St. Ouen. The Duchess of 
Aiguillon, niece of Cardinal de Richelieu, pro 
vided for the support of thirty missionaries from 
the beginning of 1642 till Lent was far advanced. 
They were carefully chosen by Father Eudes, each 
one for the functions for which he was best fitted. 
Great success followed their labours, and, as usual, 
many Protestants abjured their errors. 

Mgr. de Harlay had, on the llth January, 1642, 
named Father Eudes chief of the missionaries in 
the province of Normandy, giving him the right 
to choose his associates, and to confer on them all 
necessary powers. The document by which this 
was done, served as the basis of his foundations. 

The prelate expressed his earnest desire that 
the missionary should preach Lent in his cathe 

This would have involved such an increase of 
work, that he thought it right to consult his 
superior general, Father de Bourgoing, wbo im 
mediately urged him to excuse himself on the 
score of his weak health. 

It must have cost Father Eudes much to obey 
this advice, for when called to battle he never cal 
culated the number of the enemy, nor the amount 
of his own strength. He could not fail to see 
that there was a plan to keep him away from Nor 
mandy, and that his well-known desire for the 
foundation of seminaries had awakened a fear 
that he would leave the Congregation to which 



he was, ostensibly at least, no more closely bound 
than bis colleagues. 

His own simplicity and humility may have 
hidden from him what others knew, that the 
success of his preaching, and the unusual talent 
which he had from the first displayed, and the 
purity and holiness of his life, had been made 
known to the Cardinal, possibly by Father de 
Condren, and that thus his future had been pre 
pared. The chief cause for apprehension on the 
part of the Oratorians, was that he might have to 
ground his separation from them on the non-ful 
filment of their illustrious founder s first project, 
in furtherance of which Richelieu had entrusted 
certain funds to Father de Bourgoing. 

Father de Bourgoing wrote thus to Father 
Eudes: "If an institution should be established at 
Rouen, it would be necessary that Father St. Pe 
should remain there. I have heard that funds 
have been given to you for one at Caen ; let me 
know, for I shall have to write to you on the sub 
ject." Again, with regard to a benefice 

which the Archbishop wished to give to the Ora 
tory : " If you had informed me, I should have 
given my opinion that it might be attached to the 
house at Rouen, in favour of a seminary." 

The anxiety of the Oratorians begins to appear 
in this correspondence. Nevertheless, Father de 
Bourgoing s tone to Father Eudes is that of an 
equal, rather than of a superior. As the gifts 
and promises in question, were chiefly from the 
de Repichons, benefactors of the Oratory, it was 
supposed that they were all intended to benefit the 

It was quite true that Father Eudes had 
received from pious people different sums for the 
foundation of a seminary. He was now required 
to give an account of these sums, and to take no 
further step without; direction. He was even BUS- 


pected of self-interest in the matter, but Mgr. de 
Harlay answered for him in his correspondence 
with the superior-general. 

He was placed in a difficnlt position ; on the 
one band were tbe claims of obedience, on tbe 
otber was tbe will of God. But tbese contradic 
tions and troubles are common, wben a work ia 
from God, and are often tbe means by wbicb it is 
strengthened and perfected. 

Father Eudes was convinced of bis vocation, 
and nothing could make him waver ; be was, as 
We have said, one of those Norman conquerors and 
founders who pursue their chosen object iu spite of 
all obstacles. 

In accordance with tbe request of Mgr. de 
Fourcy, successor to Mgr. de Harlay, be was sent 
on a mission to St. Malo, and thus removed 
from bis numerous* friends in Caen and Rouen. 
He went, but with the conviction that a rupture 
was imminent and inevitable. 

His next mission at St. Lo, where the Bishop 
of Coutances hud invited him, was interrupted by 
a summons to Paris from Richelieu. 

The order was a formal one, from a minister 

* Father Eudes spiritual friends were many. Besides Mgr. 
de Cospean, of whom we have had occasion to speak, we may 
mention Mdme. de Budos, M. and Mdme. Camilly, Mgr. de Laval 
Bishop of Petrea vicar-apostolic in Canada; M. de Than, a 
religious of the abbey of St. Stephen, which he reformed ; M. de 
Renty, and M. de Bernieres, the Rev. Father John Chrysostom, 
of the Third Order of St. Francis, the Rev. Father Ignatius 
Joseph of Jesus and Mary, a discalced Carmelite, Father le 
Pileur, grand-vicar of Mgr. de Matignon, who left his library to 
the seminary of the Eudists at Coutances; several Jesuit 
Fathers, the Eeverend Mother Mary Elizabeth of the Infant 
Jesus, of the monastery of St. Thomas Aquinas ; the Reverend 
Mother Mechtilde of the Blessed Sacrament, the Reverend 
Mother Germain of the Nativity, an Ursuline of Bayeux, who 
foretold to him some of the crosses awaiting him, but did not 
dare to tell him the rest ; and many ecclesiastics whose names 
are in the book of life. 

Before the execution of his project, he associated himself with 
eeveral religious orders, the Jesuits, Benedictins, Franciscans, 
&c. (P. Costil, Annales de la Congregation.) 


who was not accustomed to be kept waiting, and 
to whom, moreover, time was now precious, for 
these were his last days on earth. Everything 
had to give way, and Father E tides set off accom 
panied by Father de Jourdan, his best-loved col 
league. This sudden departure, whose reason 
was not generally known, gave rise to many re 
marks. It soon transpired that he had had several 
interviews with the Cardinal, who had spoken of 
the establishment of seminaries, and enquired the 
reasons which had led him to devote his attention 
to the subject in so marked a manner. 

Cardinal de Kichelieu was so struck by the wis 
dom and decision of Father Eudes answers, that 
he applied to him the words of the King of Tyre 
to Solomon s messengers : " Blessed be the Lord, 
who hath given to King David a wise and knowing 

Here we end our first book. Father Eudes is 
about to leave the Oratory, and to enter on the 
new course which he will follow without wavering, 
constantly bearing the cross of Christ till he is 
called to receive his great reward. 





" The cross has not ceased to be foolishness, 
the weakness of God is still stronger than all 
the power of man. He who would work for the 
Church, must start from this conviction, and then 
use every possible human means, else he will 
never be fit for God s service."* Where did 
Father Eudes, who believed himself to be the 
weakest of creatures, gain his immoveable firmness 

* Lacordaire. 


and his imperturbable serenity ? Father Lacor- 
daire s words will furnish the answer : " There is 
always in the hearts of men, iu their intellectual 
condition, in the state of public feeling, in laws, 
or circumstances, or times, some standing-point 

for God Our great art is to find it out and 

use it, ever making the secret and invisible power 
of God the principle of our courage and hope." 

Richelieu s last dying effort in favour of a pro 
ject which had long occupied the minds of the 
wise, furnished Father Eudes with this standing- 
point, at the moment when he most wanted it. 
The Cardinal, who was so engrossed with the 
things of this world, was much less indifferent 
than has been generally supposed to those which 
affected his eternal welfare.* And he, who always 
dealt so severely with rebellion and insubordina 
tion, upheld the humble Oratorian, in his desire 
to carry out Father de Berulle s intentions and 
Father de Coudren s injunctions, notwithstanding 
the opposition of his superiors, and the dissatis 
faction of most of his colleagues. He directed 
Mgr. de Beaumont de Perefixe, the Archbishop of 
Paris, to consult with Father Eudes as to the 
tenor of the letters patent to be obtained, and 
afterwards recommended the Father to his niece, 

* M. Meyster, who had taken a prominent part in the forma 
tion of the institution at Vaugirard, came to spend some days 
with his friends, in order to communicate to them, after his 
custom, the graces which God poured down on him ; he went to 
visit Cardinal de Bichelieu, who had for many years wished to 
see him. The minister was delighted to make his acquaintance, 
and offered him 1,400,000 livres for the establishment of mis 
sions, but could not prevail on him to accept it. He was pained, 
and even alarmed, by this refusal, and said to M. Meyster : 
" But, sir, has God made known to you that I am to be lost, and 
that He will receive nothing from my hands ? Tell me, I beg of 
jfou, if you think I can be saved in my present state of life (" 
" My lord," answered M. Meyster, "we have often spoken on 
the subject with Father de Condren." "And what conclusion 
did you come to?" said the Cardinal. " We agreed that you 
have a means of securing your salvation, in defending the rights 
of the Church, and promoting the appointment of worthy men 
to bishoprics." (Vie de M. Olier. Notes.) 


the Duchess of Aiguillon, who had already seen 
him at work at Rouen, and immediately gave him 
a sum of money for the future seminary at Caen. 

Meanwhile Father Eudes was seeking the 
advice of his friends in Paris and in Normandy ; 
with one voice they said, Go forward. 

Daring his sojourn in Paris, all the hours he 
could spare from business were spent in giving 
conferences at the Sorbonne and at St. Magloire, 
where Bossuet afterwards appeared and prepared 
himself for victory; he took every opportunity of 
preaching the word of God, and the most eminent 
prelates of France were among his hearers ; " they 
could not say enough in praise of his pure zeal for 
the beauty of God s house, and they were even 
more touched by his humility than by his elo 
quence. When the conference was over, he would 
often prostrate himself at the church door, and his 
hearers could scarcely hinder him from kissing 
their feet."* 

Cardinal de Richelieu died on the 4th of 
December, 1642. It was therefore one of his last 
wishes to raise the clergy of France to their pre 
sent high position, and Father Eudes was his 
chosen associate for this work; henceforth he 
bore the impress of his power, and Richelieu s 
death, instead of leaving an irreparable void, 
bequeathed to Father Eudes a moral support, all 
the more efficacious, because no influence but that 
of God from this time guided his acts. 

Normandy, the scene of his apostolic labours, 
Lad the first claim on this son of her soil. He 
determined to found his first seminary at Caen. 

Mgr. Beaumont de Perefixe, and Mgr. d An- 
gennes, Bishop of Bayeux, acting in concert and 
in obedience to the orders of Cardinal de Riche 
lieu, forwarded the letters patent in December 

* Eecifc du Cure de St. Hilaire. (Diocese of Avranches, who 
died in tlie odour of Sanctity in 1700.) 


1642. Power was hereby given to " the members 
of the new Congregation to acquire and to build 
the bouses and places necessary for their habita 
tion, and to enjoy each and all of the rights and 
privileges enjoyed by other houses and communi 
ties founded in our kingdom, and even by the 
missions established within the last thirty years, 
although not particularly expressed." 

In a religious and legal point of view, the cause 
of the seminary at Caen was gained ; but it was 
far otherwise with regard to those material things 
which necessarily hold so important a place in the 
history of such institutions. Are not the founda 
tions of the most solid structures often laid with 
immense labour on account of the nature of the 
ground ? 

The Duchess of Aiguillon had given a thousand 
livres, and the de Repichons, father and son, had 
added two thousand more. The amount was in 
sufficient, and the Bishop of Bayeux was anxious 
to have a more certain income assured before be 
ginning, but Father Eudes, confident of success, 
and willing to meet the inevitable privations of 
the early stages of such a work, reassured and 
tranquillized the prelate, who relied much on his 
prudence. The execution of the project was 
delayed by various difficulties until the 25th of 
March, 1643. 

The future companions of Father Eudes were five 
in number; Simon Mannoury, aged twenty-nine, 
and Thomas Manchon, aged twenty-six, both of 
the diocese of Lisieux; Peter Jourdan, aged thirty- 
five, of that of Coutances ; Andrew Godefroy, of 
Caen, and John Fossey, of Thorigny. The two 
last did not persevere, but were very soon replaced 
by James Finel and Richard Lemesle, both priests 
of the diocese of Coutances. 

On the 25th of March, 1643, they made a pil 
grimage to our Lady of Deliverance, a chapel three 


leagues from Caen, still venerated by the faithful. 
On the following day Father Eudes finally left the 
Congregation of the Oratory, of which he had 
been twenty-two years a member, and took up his 
abode with his new brethren in a house at the end 
of the Place Royale, at Caen ;* he went like one 
of the patriarchs of old, in obedience to the voice 
of God, to take possession of the Promised Land, 
without looking back or regretting the advantages 
of his former position. 

Let us observe with Father Costil, that the Con 
gregation of Jesus and Mary, so called because it 
dates from the Feast of the Annunciation, ap 
peared at the same time as the book of Jauseuins, 
and in the very year when Father Hebert, theolo 
gical professor of the Church of Paris, began to 
preach against him. 

The delay of the work until 1643 was evidently 
permitted by Providence, in order that more means 
of defence might be ready for the many successive 
attacks which were to be made on the man of 

Was he indeed bound to steadfastness with 
regard to an institution which had forsaken its 
own original destination ? Was he bound to 
remain obedient to a superior, who, notwithstand 
ing his great virtue, was about to lose all command 
over his subjects ? His vows of steadfastness and 
obedience fell to the ground of themselves ; they 
even involved risk to his soul ; and, moreover, 
according to the statutes of the Congregation, these 

* We have reason to believe that the fathers spent the first 
year in a house at Caen, whose position is unknown. After 
wards they hired one in the Eue St. Laurent, opposite the drink- 
ing-trough, and now occupied by a cooper and a farrier. The 
former shows a room on the second story, just under the roof, 
once the famous chapel, whose use Mgr. Mole prohibited. The 
marks of the cells, which have been thrown tog-ether to form 
rooms, are still visible. The Eudists left this house to take 
possession of the seminary at Caen, which remained in their 
possession until the French Revolution, and is now the " Mairie." 


very vows excluded him, as Father de Condi-en may 
perhaps have reflected, when, after long opposition, 
he permitted the disciple who was, as he foresaw, 
hereafter to leave his hrethren, to take them. 

How wonderful are God s ways ! Is it presump 
tuous for weak and ignorant heings to look more 
closely into them, and to venture to point out their 
connection and consequences ? 

"We do not think it ; for if we wish to see more 
it is that we may adore better, and may lead some 
of the faithful, whose thoughts are chiefly turned 
to temporal interests, honours and material wel 
fare, to recognise the Hand that guides all things. 

With the torch of faith in our hands, we seek 
that we may love more, not that we may destroy. 
St. Francis of Sales says, " He who seeks for 
the true meaning of the heavenly word out of the 
Church to which it has been entrusted, never finds 
it ; he who would learn it otherwise than by her 
ministry, will embrace vanity instead of truth ; 
and instead of the sure brightness of the sacred 
word, will follow the illusions of the false spirit 
who transforms himself into an angel of light." 

May God preserve us from the deceits of that 
false angel, well-known and ably opposed in the 
17th century, but still ready to take his place ut 
the side of many writers whose rare talents, if 
guided by another light, would shine with surpass 
ing glory ! 

During the whole period of Father Eudes 
connection with the Oratory, all its members had 
appreciated his peculiar merit, and recognized 
his success. His great and ever-increasing repu 
tation, the effects of his preaching, the results of 
his extraordinary self-devotion, had done honour to 
the Congregation in general. 

But when he set about forming a new society, in 
order to fill up a gap which the Oratory had 
allowed to widen, he was looked upon us a dan- 


gerous deserter, and the irritation of a great num 
ber of bis former companions was betrayed by the 
erasure of bis name from their rolls, and the 
deprivation of all the rights which be bad ac 
quired at the cost of so much labour and fatigue : 
" because he is contrary to our doings, and up- 
braideth us with transgressions of the law."* He 
was treated as our Saviour Himself had been. 
When be was informed of the very unusual step 
\vhich had been taken against him,t he was given 
to understand that the Rev. Father- Superior- 
General would overlook the past on condition that 
lie should henceforth render an account of all his 
undertakings, and that the Oratory would accept 
the foundations made for the beneiit of the semi 

After much deliberation with the priests who 
bad joined him, Father Eudes forwarded to the 
superior-general some very reasonable proposals, 
which, while they did not absolutely bind bin), 
were sufficient to show bis great respect and 
deference for that illustrious body, to which he 
always remained closely related, since his object 
in life was the complete accomplishment of the 
intentions of its holy founder. 

He concluded by begging the fathers of the 
Oratory to lay to heart the words which the Holy 
Spirit spoke by Gamaliel in Acts v. 38 : " Disce- 
dite ab hominibus istis, et sinite illos. Quoniam 
si est ex bominibus consilium aut opus, dissolve- 
tur : si vero ex Deo est, non poteritis dissolvere 
illud ne forte et Deo repugnare inveniamiui." 

They would not understand, or, rather, they 

* Book of Wisdom, ii. 12. 

f The famous Father Quesnel was born in Paris in 1634, and 
died in 1719. He became an Oratorian in 1657, and directed the 
institution of the Oratorians in Paris, until his attachment to 
the Jansenists obliged him to leave France. He was not ex 
pelled from the Congregation till he had been for years in open 
rebellion against the Church. 


understood that henceforth they had to deal with 
an adversary, all the more formidable because he 
would never attack them, but simply defend him 
self; they foresaw that his increasing glory and 
holiness would rise above the apparent disgrace of 
his expulsion, and take all show of reason from 
that measure. 

One of Fatber Eudes special characteristics was 
his calmness in the midst of storms ; he never 
spoke a bitter word, or gave way to recriminations, 
he always retained a respect for his enemies whom 
he merely called his old friends. 

Such a disposition gave little satisfaction to the 
Oratory fathers, and, looking upon Father Eudea 
as a disaffected and rebellious subject, they deter 
mined on the most extreme proceedings. Some 
of the calumnies against Father Eudes having 
come to the ears of M. de Kepichon, that gentle 
man wrote in the following terms to Father 
Bernard, parish priest of Carantilly (diocese of 
Coutances) : " I have been astonished at the 
calumnies heaped upon Father Eudes, with regard 
to the work he has undertaken ; it is said that he 
prevailed upon me to withhold from the Oratory 
the sum which I have given to his Congregation. 
I wish it to be known that I never had any inten 
tion of giving the said sum eitber to the Oratory 
or to any otber object but the one to which I have 
devoted it." 25th of May, 1645.* 

This letter clearly shows that the funds received 
by him, and of which tbe Oratory wished to 
require an account, were destined for the future 
institution, not given to Father Eudes as an 
Oratorian. We shall meet with a still more strik 
ing confirmation of this fact. 

The new founder was no longer an Oratorian, 
and his only appeal lay to the Sovereign Pontiff, 

* Annales de la Congregation. (P. Costil.) 


the common father and highest judge of all the 

Seminarium (semen, seminare) may be tran 
slated by the word seed-bed ; hence the name of 
seminary is applied to institutions where young 
laymen are prepared for the priesthood, that they 
may hereafter bear to the field committed to their 
care, seed which never fails to bring forth fruit 
if only it falls on good ground. 

The little seminaries are the first institutions of 
this kind on record; their origin is very remote, 
for the Council of Bazas, held in 529, daring the 
pontificate of Felix IV., recognised their useful 
ness. They were probably merely schools estab 
lished in the cathedral churches and the principal 

After the devastation caused by the wars and 
troubles of the 10th century, universities and pri 
vate schools took the place of these seminaries. 
The bishops were for the most part obliged to rely 
on the heads of schools for the general learning of 
their clergy, and on the doctors of universities for 
their instruction in theology and canon law. 

Nothing could be more unfavourable to unity of 
doctrine, or more likely to give rise to heresy. 
The holy Council of Trent,* (sess. 23. ch. xviii. de 

* Trent, a town in the Austrian Tyrol, celebrated as the 
Beat of the 19th (Ecumenical Council, held there from 1545 
to 1563. The Protestants had begged that this Council might 
be assembled, but rejected its authority even before it met. 
Many dogmas of the Church were denned, anathemas were pro 
nounced against their opponents, and decrees for the reforma 
tion of the clergy were issued. 

Its decisions in all matters of faith were received in France 
without opposition ; but the Parliaments refused to admit seve 
ral articles regarding discipline, being anxious to maintain the 
usages of the Gallican Church. 

Thus, in the case of seminaries, they could not be established 
without letters patent from the king ; this point was definitively 
settled by an edict, in August, 1749. The Bishops were allowed 
to raise the contributions from benefices without the aid of the 
canons, and acted with the co-operation of the syndics and 
deputies of the tithe-offices iu their dioceses. They were also 


reform.) made a decree that in all the dioceses of 
each province, one or more seminaries should be 
established, in which young men born in lawful 
wedlock and destined for the priesthood should be 
received. Those who were unable to pay were to 
be maintained and educated gratuitously by means 
of contributions collected from all the benefices in 
the diocese, and all religious orders, except the 
mendicant and that of Malta, were to bear their 
part. The Bishop, with the assistance of two 
canons, was to fix the amount of each contribu 
tion. The Council also obliged the ecoldtres, ec 
clesiastics belonging to certain cathedral churches, 
and appointed to teach theology, themselves to 
undertake the instruction of the young clergy in 
the seminaries, or to find substitutes approved by 
their bishop. 

The Assembly of Melup, in 1579, conformed to 
the decision of the Council of Trent, and added 
several other articles regarding the government of 
the seminaries. This example was followed by 
the Provincial Councils of Rouen, Rheims, Bor 
deaux, Tours, Bourges, Aix and, Toulouse. 

St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop of Milan, the 
soul of the Council of Trent, and author of its 
celebrated catechism, had been able, before be 
died, at the age of 46, worn out by the austerities 
and fatigues of his holy calling, to carry out the 
decree of the Council by opening seminaries in his 

A matter of such importance to the maintenance 
of wholesome doctrine was not lost sight of at 
Rome, but the scheme entertained there was yet 
more general and extensive. 

Has not Rome been for nearly nineteen cen- 

allowed to admit clerks at a later age than that mentioned by 
the Council into their seminaries. (Council of Trent, J545- 
1563. Popes, Eugenius IV., Felix V., Nicholas V., Caiixtus III., 
Pius II. Kings of France, Francis I., Henry II., Fiancis II., 
Charles IX.) 


turies a diamond, whose various faces shine on 
the whole world ? Is not Home a hurning light 
which can never be quenched, because man cannot 
destroy what God has established ? " Instruction 
in truth and in morals flows with rare profusion 
alike from the pulpits of its universities, where 
learning, faith aud holiness are combined, and 
from those where the gospel is preached to the 
poor. The most sublime truths are taught in its 
very streets and squares, and are the common 
property of all."* 

Kome has founded seminaries, but their princi 
pal object is to convey the faith from its fountain 
Lead to distant countries. 

Each nation, eacli diocese even, according to 
the law of the Council of Trent, ought to promote 
the development of theological science in its own 
sphere, but Home is always working for all, with 
that maternal tenderness which would vanish from 
the world, could the wishes of those who dare to 
place his divine and supreme dignity on a level 
with mere human authorities be carried out, aud 
the Holy Father be, as they say, " suppressed." 

The most important and celebrated of the 
Roman Seminaries is that known as the Apos 
tolic or Urban Seminary, and the College of the 
Propagation of the Faith. 

This digression, although far too short for the 
importance of the subject, will have clea/ly shewn 
how good a path Father Eudes was following by 
adhering to the intentions of the Council of Trent, 
and co-operating with such men as St. Vincent de 
Paul, and Fathers d Authier de Sisgau, Olier and 
Bourdoise, to all of whom he was ever united by 
the closest and most holy bonds of friendship. 

We give the names of the earliest seminaries in 
France, in the order of their foundation. The 

* Union de 1 Ouest, 30th November, 1866. (Angers.) 


Seminary of Valence was founded by Father 
d Autbier de Sisgau, in 1639, that of the college 
des Bons-Enfants in Paris, by St. Vincent de 
Paul, founder of the missionary priests, in 1642 ; 
that of Caen, by Father Eudes, in 1643 ; and that 
of St. Nicholas du Chardonnet, at Paris, by Father 
Bourdoise, in 1644. 

At last the work was begun ; but how long had 
been the delays ! We have shewn in our work on 
military schools what a slow and tardy thing pro 
gress is. Seminaries for officers were only estab 
lished in 1751, and then at the instigation of a 
clever minister of finance and a courtezan, Paris 
Duverney and Mdme. de Pompadour although the 
project, due to the brave Captain Lanoue, dated 
from the days of Henry IV., and Richelieu 
and Louvois had made ineffectual efforts to realize 

Father Eudes was naturally chosen as superior 
by the members of the new Congregation of Jesus 
and Mary. They took no vows ; charity was their 
sole bond of union ; they owed entire obedience to 
the Pope, and were in dependence on the bishop 
of the diocese in which they lived. 

It was decided that on Father Eudes death a 
successor should be chosen, who should have the 
same governing powers, and assign to his col 
leagues the position and employment for which 
he considered each one best fitted by his character 
and capacity. 

Father Eudes system of government was based 
on that of Father de Berulle ; but he had merely 
two objects in view : 1st, to work at the training 
of good ecclesiastics by means of retreats and other 
exercises in the seminaries, and 2nd, to keep 
the spirit of Christianity alive among the people, 
by means of frequent missions. 

The following words might have been taken as 
the motto of the Congregation : " Colere Deum et 


facere voluntatem ejns cordi magno et animo vo- 
lenti ;" or these others : " Servire Cbristo et Ec- 
clesise, in sanctitate et justitia coram ipso omnibus 
diebus nostris." 

The task of drawing np definite constitutions 
was put off to a future time ; from the first the 
practice of meditation was laid down as essential, 
and some devotional exercises were recommended, 
which in course of time were generally adopted. 

The Feasts of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and 
Mary, of St. Joseph, St. Joachim, and St. Anne, 
as well as the Octave of the Immaculate Concep 
tion, were to be solemnly observed in the Congre 
gation, which from the first moment of its exist 
ence was consecrated, 1st, to the Most Holy Trinity, 
as the first principle and ultimate object of the 
episcopal dignity and sanctity ; 2ndly, to the Holy 
Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which the 
order took as its model ; and 3rdly, to the Divine 
Heart of Jesus and the most Holy Heart of Mary. 

The valiant band lost no time in setting to work; 
as early as Pentecost, 1643, they gave a mission at 
St. Sauveur le Vicomte, in the diocese of Cou- 
tances, which was immediately followed by one at 
Valognes. Never was a mission better attended 
than this last. The indefatigable priests preached 
in the open air to thirty or forty thousand persons, 
many of whom came from a distance to hear 
them. A story of this mission is still handed 
down by tradition in the order. Father Eudes 
hearers, alarmed by a terrible storm which seemed 
about to break upon them, were about to disperse, 
when he solemnly assured them that the thunder 
and the tempest would respect them. They 
believed him and remained, and the place which 
they occupied was the only one within ten miles 
untouched by the storm. 

During this mission, Father Eudes caused 
some forsaken chapels to be again honoured aa 


lioly places, revived failing fervour, reconciled 
deadly enemies, induced many persons to make 
restitution, and, in short, gained the most en 
couraging victories. 

And, like St. Paul at Ephesus, he committed 
to the flames a quantity of hateful domestic mis 
sionaries, in the shape of bad hooks and licentious 
pictures, which his hearers gave up to him. 

These glorious successes were followed by 
further results. Father Le Pileur, grand-vicar of 
Coutances, wrote as follows : " The happy change 
wrought in the manners of the clergy by a course 
of instructions and conferences lasting for several 
weeks, furnishes an ample proof of the importance 
of Father Eudes projected seminaries." He 
farther added, that this holy priest was specially 
fitted for such an undertaking, and that the appro 
bation of the Holy Father was an essential condi 
tion of its permanent success. 

The document we have quoted bears date Sep 
tember 3rd, 1643, and seems to have led to all the 
further steps taken in the course of that year. It 
was evidently expected that the Congregation 
would extend throughout all the dioceses of 
France, or at least all those adjacent to that of 
Bayeux, otherwise, according to the Council of 
Trent, the approbation already given by that 
bishop would have been sufficient. Mgr. de 
Matignon, Bishop of Coutances, and Mgr. d An- 
gennes, wrote to Kome to ask for the formal recog 
nition of the Congregation.* 

* The Council of Trent, and the decrees of our kings, con 
ferred these powers and rights on the bishops, as may be seen in. 
the twenty-fourth article passed at the meeting of the States- 
General at Blois, whose decisions were published in Paris in 
1579 ; in the report of the assembly held at Melun in the same 
year and in the first article of the edict of Melun in 1580 : with 
this difference, that whereas the twenty-fourth article of Blois 
required archbishops and bishops to establish these seminaries 
and schools in their dioceses in whatever form seemed to them 
best suited to the special circumstances, and to provide the necea- 


Mgr. d Angennes letter of the 22nd October, 
1643, was accompanied by a second, addressed to 
Cardinal Antonio. The letters to the Holy See 
produced little or no effect, for Pope Urban VIII. 
died on the 29th of July, 1644. They contained 
three requests : for the confirmation of the Con 
gregation, for apostolic powers, and for indul 
gences for the missions. 

Cardinal Antonio did not reply until the 2nd of 
July, 1644; he then informed Mgr. d Angennes 
that the Congregation of the Propaganda ap 
plauded his zeal, was most desirous of assisting 
him, and had forwarded a summary of the requests 
regarding Father Eudes to the French Nuncio, in 
order that the customary enquiries might be made 
on the spot. 

Father Eudes had gone to Paris with Father 
Manchon in December, 1643. 

His principal protectors had been removed at 
the time when he needed them most. Cardinal 
de Eichelieu died in 1642, and King Louis XIII. 
in 1643. He might truly say of his house : 
" Deus in medio ejus, non commovebitur : adju- 
vabit earn Deus mane diluculo." 

But the political horizon was dark and lowering. 

sary funds for foundations and endowments by the union of bene 
fices, by the assignment of pensions, and such other means as 
they deemed best, and commanded His Majesty s officers as well 
those of the sovereign court as all others, to give them assist 
ance, insomuch that the parliament of Eouen enjoined on the 
archbishops and bishops to proceed within six months under 
pam of deprivation of their temporalities ; the edict of Melun 
admonishes bishops and metropolitans within the next six 
months, and again, once every three years, to assemble provincial 
councils to take measures for the maintenance of discipline, the 
correction of manners, the direction of ecclesiastical disci- 
pane, and the formation of seminaries accordin"- to the holy 
canons. This edict was adopted, not only by the provincial 
council held at Eouen in 1 581, but also by a decree of Louis XIII. 
m 1629, to compel bishops to establish seminaries in their 
dioceses immediately, in accordance with the first article of 
Melun aforesaid. (P. Costil. Annales.) 

The importance of this note will appear in the course of our 


The destiny of France was in the hands of a young 
Queen Eegent, of a child-king, and of a Cardinal 
Minister of foreign origin, a mere effigy of his 
predecessor, and the troubles of the Fronde were 
about to break out. 

In a secondary position as agent of the Holy 
See, and still more often of Richelieu, Mazarin 
had undoubtedly shown a certain amount of 
capacity. But if Richelieu had often urged on the 
chariot of the state with extreme rapidity, he, unlike 
his successor, had always been able to guide its 
course : if the nobility, the parliament, and the 
people had felt his power, they had bowed before 
his well-known high birth, they had known that 
they were doing homage to a Frenchman who had 
raised his own country to the highest place. 

Honour had. been his portion, but Mazarin s 
heritage was one of popular disquiet, of murmur 
ing and revolt. " He was a diplomatist of the 
first order, his name is associated with the two 
most important treaties of the XVIIth century, 
that of Westphalia, and of, the Pyrenees. He was 
full of resources and expedients ; and he chose to 
corrupt parties rather than to be obliged to exter 
minate them." 

There is a close connection between religious 
and political affairs, and Father Eudes could not 
but see that these troublous times were not 
favourable for religious foundations. 

There was, however, a dazzling brightness about 
the early days of the regency. The Queen and 
the Minister lavished money and favours, with the 
hope of consolidating their power. But ere long 
they were obliged to resort to other expedients, 
and the nation, which had thought it was about to 
breathe more freely, soon learned to look back 
with regret on the yoke imposed by Cardinal de 

A civil war was the necessary consequence of 


this state of tilings, and it soon broke forth, spite 
of all the efforts of the new government. One 
remarkable proof of Kichelieu s skill and strength 
was, that he never allowed war except to the 
degree in which it fell in with his policy and 
furthered his ulterior purposes. 

" It is a characteristic of Christian constancy," 
according to Father Eudes biographer, Father 
Montigny,* " never to be deterred by any diffi- 

* The first person who collected any particulars of the life of 
Father Eudes, was Father Finel, once a magistrate at Carentan, 
and afterwards a Priest and Eudist. His work, ; Verba 
dierum," gives much information as to the early days of the 
Congregation. We have already spoken of that by Father 
Herambourg. Father Costil, by order of Father de Fontaines 
de Neuilly, the third Superior General, began to write the annals 
of the Congregation on the 22nd May, 1720. He devoted many 
years to this labour, and visited all the houses of the Order, and 
of Father Eudes other foundations. Father de Montigny, a 
Jesuit, wrote Father Eudes life in 1765. There is also a 
Manuscript Life written in 1778, by Father Beurier, one of the 
most distinguished members of the Congregation. Father 
Eudes deserves a place amongst his own biographers, for he kept 
a journal. Father Le Dore, postulator in the cause of his 
beatification, has lately discovered another MSS. life, which was 
written between 1740 and 1750, by a Eudist Priest, and is more 
ample than any of the others, as well as superior in style. The 
celebrated Huet, Bishop of Avranches, speaks of the venerable 
Father in his Origines de Caen, and in another work entitled : 
Commentarius de rebus ad eum pertinentibus. 

Hermant and Heliot, in their History of Monastic Orders, have 
made use of these documents. 

Father Tresvaux, one of the Paris clergy, reprinted Father 
Montigny s work, modernizing the style, and adding many in 
teresting details. Father Blanchard, the Superior General, lent 
him some documents, which are believed to have been lost when 
the Archiepiscopal Palace was sacked in 1832. 

A most interesting notice from the pen of M. Gustavo 
Levavasseur is prefixed to the report of the inauguration, at Ri, 
of the medallions containing busts of the three brothers Eudes, 
executed by their kinsman, M. C. de Montzey. 

No biography of Father Eudes has appeared in print, except 
that by Father Tresvaux, (1827,) M. Lavavasseur s notice, 
(1853,) and his Virtues by Father Herambourg, with Father 
Bore s notes, (1868.) 

We humbly trust that God will bless our work, and permit 
our offering of homage to our revered ancestor to assist in 
promoting his beatification, by making him known throughout 
the world. 


culties from the execution of a purpose winch has 
good for its object." 

We are about to relate the troubles which beset 
Father Eudes throughout life, and must again 
repeat that one of the marked features of his 
character, was the calmness with which he met ill- 
treatment ; he bore it as Jesus bore the cowardly 
insults of the Jews, " he thanked Him for grant 
ing him and his brethren the favour of a share in 
His humiliations." His biographers tell us that 
he was unmoved by the calumnies which attacked 
his intentions and thwarted his endeavours to 
carry out the useful and practical decrees of the 
Council of Trent. 

It was a matter of great importance that two 
false ideas which, notwithstanding their absurdity, 
Lad taken hold of the public mind, should be dis 
pelled; one was that his project could not suc 
ceed and yet its execution had been amongst 
Richelieu s last wishes ; and the other, that the 
Bishops were opposed to the establishment of a 
new Order which, even in event of success, could 
not bring about more good than might be expected 
from those already at work under their direction 
and yet inclination or circumstances had in most 
provinces directed the energy of these Orders into 
other channels. 

A word from the throne of St. Peter was needed 
to silence these low-born murmurs, therefore, 
ufter having taken counsel with Mgr. d Angennes, 
and the few other friends who remained constant 
to him, Father Eudes decided on sending Father 
Simon Mannoury to Rome. This priest was his 
faithful counsellor and one of his most devoted 
colleagues ; the strength of his character, and the 
purity of his life, made him worthy of entire confi 
dence, and he had, moreover, been the first to 
associate himself with him in his new work. 

Father Mannoury joyfully undertook this deli- 


cate and difficult mission. He bad to encounter 
the fatigues and perils of a long journey on foot, 
with the slenderest resources, and he had yet 
more to apprehend from the opposition of power 
ful enemies at Home ; an opposition rendered 
doubly dangerous by its apparent zeal for the 
cause of religion, and for the interests of the 
Sovereign Pontiff. 

His instructions from Father Eudes were, to 
solicit from the Holy See the confirmation of the 
establishment of the Seminary at Caen, and con 
sequently of the Congregation ; and in the second 
place, the faculties usually granted to Apostolic 
Missionaries ; as well as certain indulgences for 
those who should attend the missions. He was 
also to ask, in the name of Mgr. d Angennes, for 
the confirmation of the Order of our Lady of 

One morning, having fortified himself by offer 
ing tbe Holy Sacrifice, Father Mannoury bade his 
superior farewell, and took his pilgrim s staff in 
his hand : the Congregation had no resources to 
meet the expenses of a long journey ; God was 
pleased to permit that poverty and opposition 
should be the foundation of His work. 

Father Eudes s ruling passion was for the sanc- 
tification of souls ; from his earliest years he had 
the highest idea of this object. He looked upon 
it as the chosen employment of God, of His angels 
and saints. He often repeated to his brethren 
the words attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite, 
" Omnium Divinorum divinissimum est co- 
operari Deo in salutem animarum." " I have 
no wish," he would say, " but if God commanded 
me to make a choice, I would live always, that I 
might help to save souls." His special affection 
was for those great sinners who were peculiarly in 
need of the Divine mercy and of his assistance. 


He wrote to one of bis spiritual children : "Since 
we must die, what can be better than to die for 
tbe cause for which our most dear Saviour sacri 
ficed Himself?" "Majorem hac dilectionem nemo 
babet ut animam suam ponat quis pro amicis 
suis." We have already seen bow bis love for 
souls impelled him to entire self-devotion at St. 
Christophe, at Argentan, and at Caen.* 

Having beard that Father d Autbier de Sisgau 
was giving missions under the direction of the 
Propaganda, and bad received ample powers from 
the Holy See, together with tbe permission to 
communicate them to such persons as he might 
select to associate with him in bis labours, Father 
Eudes earnestly begged that his society might be 
united to the one already formed by this holy 
priest. Father d Authier s answer bears date the 
4th of January, 1644, and shows bow fully he 
reciprocated this desire. It is not known bow its 
execution was prevented. In the midst of all 
these anxieties, Father Eudes found time, after 
bis return from Paris, to go to Houfleur, where 
Mgr. de Cospeau bad requested him to give a 

This prelate bad promised to assist him in the 
work, but was unable to do so, on account of a vexa 
tious law-suit which bad been brought against him. 

He wrote to him as follows, to express his 
gratitude for the results of bis mission : " I bless 
the Lord with all my heart for the favours He has 
shown us through you, and I beg Him to preserve 
you, as tbe greatest benefit He can bestow on me, 
who am entirely devoted to you. I knew well the 
good that you would do at Honfleur, and that God 
would be glorified by it to the astonishment of the 
beholders. God has chosen you as the organ and 

* Pere Herambourg, Vertua. P. Le Dore s notes. 


minister of the great graces by which He prevents 
and saves His children." 

Almost as soon as Father Eudes and his col 
leagues had returned home, they heard that M. de 
Repichon and his son, M. de Lyon, who had 
entered holy orders, had, by a deed executed in 
September, 1644, made over a sum of 14,000 livres 
to their house; "but," says Father Costil, "from 
reasons which we cannot investigate, only 3,000 
were for the present forthcoming." 

A few days before, on his entrance into the 
Congregation, M. Blouet de Than had given an 
income of 1,500 livres, and 3,000 livres of arrears, 
and thus, in a temporal point of view, he may be 
said to have founded the seminary at Caen. 

About this time Father Eudes laid down the 
course to be followed in giving Missions, and the 
marvellous and long-continued success which 
attended his labours and those of his Congrega 
tion, is in great measure due to the wisdom of 
these rules. We regret that our space does not 
permit us to give them at length ; an analysis 
would be impossible, we shall therefore merely 
quote the four kinds of preparation particularly 
recommended to the missionaries before setting to 

The first is a pure intention to destroy sin and 
establish holiness in souls : the second, profound 
humiliation at the sight of their own unworthiness 
and insufficiency for so high a calling, and an un 
reserved devotion to our Lord, who is pleased to 
use them as the weak instruments of His grace : 
the third, complete detachment from all things that 
might hinder the operation of His grace, such as 
self-interest, curiosity, love of reputation and of 
pleasure : the fourth, a burning zeal for souls. 

To these four preparations, must be added the 
Conferences which the missionaries were to hold 
once a week, with a view of keeping alive their 


fervour. Those who read the rules of the Mis 
sions at length, cannot fail to see how well fitted 
they were to produce abundant fruit, especially at 
a time when such means of grace were rare. 

In the course of fifty-four years, Father Eudes 
gave one hundred and ten or one hundred and 
twelve Missions ; others, to the number of ten or 
twelve a year, were given simultaneously at dif 
ferent places by his fellow-labourers. He also 
preached many Advents and Lents, How could 
his physical strength sustain such labours? 
Where did he find the time to give conferences, to 
.travel from place to place, to look after the 
temporal and spiritual concerns of the Daughters 
of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, as welfas of 
many communities and private individuals, who 
were in the habit of applying to him for strength 
and for counsel ? How was he able to write many 
books,* and to superintend their publication? 


1 ip?o erciceS pi< ^ pour vivre chretiennement, 1636, refondu 

2. Vie et Boyaume de Jesus, in 870, 1637, 1664, 1667. 

3. Le Testament de Jesus, 1641. 

4. La Vie du Chretien, in 12mo, 1641, 1669. 1695. 

5. Le Contrat de 1 homme avec Dieu, 1654, 1743. 

6. Le Bon Confesseur, Paris, 1666, in 12mo. Eouen, 1732 

7. Le Memorial de la Vie Ecclesiastique. Lisieux 1631 

8. Le Predicateur Apostolique. Caen, 1685. 

,, 9 - . Le P r P re dea Offi ces de la Congregation de Jesus et 
Marie, lb/2. 

10. L Enfance Admirable, Paris 1676 

Camr delalKre Admirable - 

12. Le Cceur Admirable de la T. S. Mere de Dieu, 1682. 

13. Catechisme de la Mission. 

14. 3ieme partie du Sacrifice admirable Maniere de servir la 
Sainte Messe. 

35. Manuel de piete a 1 usage de la Congregation de Jesus et 
de Marie. 
16. Les Constitutions de la Congregation de Jesus et Marie. 


1. Tout Jesus ou Exercices interieures sur Jesus. 

2. Vie de La ou Marie Desvallees, 2 ou 3 volumes. 

3. L homme chretien, sur les vices et les vertuea. 


We cannot imagine. The secret belongs to God, 
who selects men for the work they are to do, and 
never lays a burden on one who cannot bear it. 
He surely must have multiplied Father Eudes 
strength in a wonderful manner. 

Marvellous transformations were wrought by 
these repeated missions in the same places ; seven 
or eight generations have passed away, but their 
memory still remains fresh. 

In the rocky plains of Sartlie we once stopped 
to watch the operations of the quarry-men on a 
block of granite : we thought their instruments 
insufficient ; they had only some iron wedges, 
some little steel-pointed hammers, and some other 
tools of no great size, and the rock they had to 
deal with was hardened by centuries. But we 
were mistaken; a hole was made, a wedge was 
inserted, a second, and a third, some well-directed 
blows were struck, and then the mass gave way, and 
stood ready to be cut into a foundation-stone for 
some great edifice. 

And thus the hardest hearts yielded to Father 
Eudes. He stood at tbe door and knocked with 
gentle force. " Ecce sto ad ostium et pulso," and 
souls were touched and brought back to God. He 
armed innocence with an impenetrable shield, and 

4. Du Sacrifice admirable. 

5. Ste Enfance de Jesus. 

[It is not certain that this book was composed by Father 
Eudes himself. This catalogue, we are told by Father Dore, 
postulator of the cause of beatification, is as complete as he has 
been able to make it, but it has not been possible to find all the 
printed books ; and many of the manuscripts were dispersed or 
lost at the time of the Revolution. It will be seen that many of 
the published books did not appear till after Father Eudes 

6. Faveurs acordees par la Ste. Vierge au diocese de Coutance 
(in acheye). 

7. Trois volumes de meditations. 

8. Sermons. 

9. De 1 Office divin. 

10. Les Regies et Constitutions de Tordre de Notre Dame de 

11. Memorial (avec action de graces en Latin.) 


when, alas ! ifc had heen lost under the influence 
of temptations, or the oppression of power, when 
violence had ruined a life, and left those bitter 
memories which time cannot efface, fearlessly 
and firmly he rescued the poor victims from the 
ravishing wolves. And after conflicts which often 
drew upon him the hatred of those whose evil 
passions he had opposed, he would return to his 
cell without any earthly reward, like our brave 
soldiers, w r ho often bring back to their huts 
nothing but the memory of fearful struggles. 
" Entirely for God, everything for God, glory to 
God alone." Such was ever his watchword. What 
a lesson to our insatiable thirst for honour and 
distinction ! 

Nothing could lessen his zeal, and let us say it 
at once, in his magnificent work of missions, as 
well as in his foundations, the most determined 
opposition he met with was from some of the 
clergy. He was not merely a founder, but also a 
reformer, and these trials were necessary in order 
that his own virtue might be made perfect, and 
that the glory of the word of God which he 
preached might be manifested ; had they been 
wanting, the humility of the preacher might per 
haps have been grieved by seeing men attribute to 
his eloquence successes which were due to the in 
vincible power of the Cross. 

A letter which was addressed to him by one 
who held an exalted position in the Church, ex 
presses our meaning perfectly : " What marvel if 
our Saviour lets those who have the honour of 
sharing in His great work of glorifying God and 
saving souls, be also partakers of His sufferings ? 
God has given you uncommon zeal, therefore be 
assured that you will have to bear uncommon per 
secution. And to make it sharper and more ex 
traordinary, it must needs come from holy per 
sons. If Christ was forsaken by God while He 


accomplished His great work, I do not wonder 
that you are forsaken and persecuted by good 
men. When the will of God is made clear to 
them, they will conform themselves to it, and will 
be grieved at the things they have done, hut in 
the meantime : Viriliter agite et confortetur cor 
vestrum et sustinete Dominum."* 

God allowed His servants to make mistakes, in 
order that Father Endes might be tried, and 
might pass uninjured through success, which St. 
Bernard considered the greatest peril for humility. 
The opposition of men of God was at once the 
seal of Father Eudes vocation and the germ of 
innumerable fruits. 

The departure of the missionaries was always 
marked by tears ; it was the separation of fathers 
and children ; but the children knew that their 
fathers were ever with them in spirit, that their 
prayers accompanied each step of their lives, and 
that they would return to give them fresh courage 
and strength. 

What we have said applies, in a general way, 
to all the missions given by Father Eudes and his 
faithful comrades ; as we continue his history, we 
shall give, in their proper order, some of the most 
striking details. When we meet with a picture 
painted by some great master, we begin by put 
ting ourselves at a certain distance from it, we con 
template it as a whole, we study the broad out 
lines, the principal effects, the general idea, and 
afterwards we admire each minute detail. 

Are not the Saints Lives master-pieces painted 
by the hand of God? 

If Voltaire and his followers had fallen upon a 
period like the XVIth and the early part of the 
XVIIth century, what irreparable mischief would 
have been done ! though the destroying blast, 

* P. Costil, Annales. 


which shattered many of its branches, could not 
shake the immoveable trunk whose roots go down 
into eternity. 

Father Eudes must be reckoned among the 
brave champions who kept alive the faith of our 
fathers, and preserved Catholic France, the eldest 
daughter of the Church. 

Let us turn once more to his family. 

Beneath all his firmness he bore the most 
tender of hearts ; he had left his home to devote 
himself to the service of all who were in misery, 
but that home was ever dear to him. The news 
of his father s serious illness reached him sud 
denly; he hastened to him in the hope of being 
able to give him all the consolations of religion, 
but was only in time to close his eyes. Counting 
too much on his strength, he presided at his 
funeral, and even ascended the pulpit, and 
spoke to his neighbours of resignation under the 
afflictions which God sends ; but when the service 
was over he hastened away to weep. 

Here is another point of resemblance to St. 
Francis of Sales. That holy priest was about to 
preach when the tidings of his father s death 
reached him ; mastering his terrible sorrow, he 
told his hearers of the loss he had just sustained, 
and begged them to pray for the departed but 
soon his tears gained the victory, and all present 
took part in his grief, so that nothing was heard 
but the voice of a common sorrow, mingled with 
prayer for the beloved being who was gone.* 

Charles Eudes being nearer at hand, had re 
ceived the sad tidings sooner, and had reached 
home in time to watch by his father s sick bed, but 
Francis de Mezeray was not there. The tumults 
of the capital, the absorption of study, the in 
terests of ambition, had kept the sound of the 

* Death of M. de Boissy, in St. Francis life. 


passing-bell from his ears,* and he did not even 
come to console his widowed mother. But let us 
not be too hard upon him, for it must be admitted 
that in those days many difficulties attended the 
shortest journey. 

In the division of the patrimonial possessions, 
which took place at Ei, on the 22nd November, 
1644, Francis de Mezeray was, according to the 
custom of Normandy, represented by the attorney, 
Marin Guerin, who generally acted in such cases 
for the villagers. In accordance with another 
usage of the province, Charles Eudes du d Houay, 
as the youngest son, made the lots, and John 
Eudes, as the eldest, drew first. Notwithstand 
ing this division, the property remained entire, 
and the mother of the three Eudes continued to 
live there in some comfort, a fact which brings 
the celebrated author before us as a good son. 
After^the death of Martha Corbin, Father Eudes 
left bis share of the property to his family. 

We have spoken of the celebrated author, for in 
1643, Francis de Mezeray had published the first 
volume of his history of France, which was received 
with as much favour as if he had been our only 
historian, so completely had his predecessors been 
forgotten or neglected. His work was dedicated in 
the first instance to Cardinal de Eichelieu, but 
this dedication was soon superseded by one to the 
Queen, who was by this means already favourably 
disposed towards Father Eudes; when St. Vincent 
de Paul presented him to her she at once 
granted him her protection, and thus Mezeray s 
reputation was of use to his brother. 

* Notice sur les 3 Eudes. G. Levavasseur. 





" Ecco Eoma ! People," says Mrs. Craven, 
" who arrive at Rome by the railway, rushing like 
a whirlwind into a station which has nothing to 
distinguish it from the most insignificant place on 
earth, cannot imagine the effect formerly produced 
by those two words, when, having reached the 
point from which the Eternal City could first be 
seen, the postillion used to stop his horses, and 
pointing it out in the distance to the traveller, 
used to pronoujnce them with that grave sonorous 
Roman accent, which is like the name of Rome 

Ecco Eoma ! Father Mannoury also may have 
exclaimed, when, from the same spot he looked on 
that beautiful prospect standing out -against the 

* Anne Severin. 


, clear bright sky, while before him rose the peer 
less dome which can never, even at first sight, be 
mistaken for any one of those surrounding it. 

We can see the brave priest, regardless of all 
his fatigues, hastening on, like St. Peter of old, 
with his staff in his hand, to the Eternal City, to 
seek some place of abode, and then, after a few 
hours repose, to set about the business he had in 
hand, in tbe course of which he was to meet with 
so many difficulties. 

Tbe letters of the Bishops of Bayeux, of Lisieux, 
and of Coutances, had arrived before him, together 
with another equally important document, an 
attestation from Father le Pileur, vicar-general, 
giving a full account of the successes gained by 
Father Eudes. The prelates, who were anxious that 
Rome should merely act according to established 
rules, had written most urgently to tbe Holy 
Father on behalf of the Congregation. There was 
reason to hope for the assistance of Cardinal de 
Grimaldi, to whom Mgr. de Cospean had par 
ticularly recommended the matter, and Mgr. 
d Angennes wished that the same request which 
he had addressed to Urban VIII., at the close of 
his Pontificate, should now be laid before Innocent 
X. Everytbing seemed to promise success; but 
it was not yet to be granted, for God willed tbafc 
the foundations should be dug yet deeper, iu order 
that the holy house might be yet more stead 

It is said that the Jansenists of the Low Coun 
tries skilfully countermined the plans of one 
whom they considered a most formidable adver 

John Sinnich, a doctor of Louvain, and Corneille 
Poepe, had been sent to Rome by the leaders of 
this sect, and had arrived there in the month of 
November, 1643. On their way through Paris, 



they had naturally made acquaintance with the 
Fathers of the Oratory, some of whom had em- 
hraced their doctrines. As Father Eudes had 
always opposed this heresy, and as its entrance 
into the Oratory had heen one of the principal 
reasons which induced him to leave it, the Jan- 
senist envoys at once made common cause with his 
former comrades, who were bent on his ruin at any 

The circumstances we have mentioned were 
sufficient to make the two Jansenists oppose 
Father Eudes by every means in their power, and 
they used the consideration which, thanks to their 
underhand dealings, they still enjoyed in Rome, 
to injure him. 

A very strong impression was made by the 
reasons which they brought forward in favour of 
the illustrious Congregation of the Oratory. 
Father Mannoury at once saw how matters stood, 
and the Cardinals of the Propaganda could not con 
ceal their conviction that all his efforts would be 
unavailing. The state of things had been made 
all the more hopeless by the assurance given to 
the Holy Father that the Congregation which 
Cardinal de Berulle had founded, and Fathers da 
Condren and de Beauregard successively governed, 
had no high opinion of its expelled member. 

Spite of the cup of bitterness which was big 
daily portion, Father Mannoury fulfilled his mis 
sion, but when he saw how effectually calumny 
had preceded him, he wrote to Father Eudes on 
the 22nd of March, 1645, begging to be recalled, 
but feeling certain that he would be sent back to 
Borne at some future time, if circumstances ap 
peared more favourable. 

Father Mannoury therefore returned, and 
Father Eudes, suspending all efforts to gain any 
thing from Rome, devoted himself to his accus 
tomed labours. 


An Assembly of the Clergy was to be held in 
Paris in the course of the year 1645. Father Eudes 
thought it well to take the opportunity of seeking 
a formal approval for his Congregation. As a 
second failure would have been very prejudicial to 
its interests, he consulted beforehand with Mgr. 
d Angennes, and Mgr. Cospean, who advised him 
to make the attempt, and themselves wrote to the 
assembled bishops to bespeak a favourable hearing 
for him. 

The Assembly appointed commissioners to ex 
amine the request, and, two months afterwards, 
having learned by their report that it contained 
nothing that had not already been proposed in 
1625, and having debated on the advantages 
which would arise from the establishment of semi 
naries, on the means for their foundation and en 
dowment, and on the difficulties in the way of 
such an undertaking ; in consideration of these 
difficulties it decided that the project could not be 
entertained; by way of softening a verdict which 
was in opposition with all the resolutions and 
decisions on this subject during the previous ninety 
years, the assembly declared itself "nevertheless 
much pleased with the zeal shown by the priests 
of the seminary of Caen, and exhorted them to 
work in the other dioceses to which they might be 
summoned, in the same manner as they had already 
done in that of Bayeux." 

The Bishop of Grasse was charged to answer 
the letters of the Bishops of Bayeux and Lisieux, 
and he did so in terms which at least served to 
testify to Father Eudes worth. On the other 
hand, of what negative value were all the ordinances 
which we have already cited, especially that of 
1629, given by Louis XIII.,- und apparently very 
explicit ? 

Rome had not thought fit to pronounce a decision 
regarding the seminaries, which, nevertheless, she 


must have approved, but this was on account of 
the man who appeared as their founder ; the man 
was rejected, not the foundation. In France, on 
the contrary, the man would have been accepted as 
worthy of all esteem and confidence; but the 
foundation was rejected, a foundation which had, 
however, been expressly recommended by the 
Council of Trent, and many provincial councils, 
and which had entered into Richelieu s system of 

A singular contrast is here brought before us. 
Father Eudes had been implicitly approved, but 
he felt this was by no means sufficient to give 
stability to his work, and therefore determined to 
use every means in his power to obtain a more 
formal decision in its favour. 

He saw that he would have had a better chance 
of success if he had been in a position to present 
to the bishops the Constitutions of the Congrega 
tion of Jesus and Mary; and, accordingly, began 
to frame them under :the direction of Mgr. de Cos- 
pean, who was ere long to be removed from him. 

It seemed as if God would deprive him succes 
sively of most of those on whom he might have 
leaned, and who might, by their high position in 
Church or state, have promoted his plans. God 
alone, we see, was his stay ; and therefore he 
became more firm and resolute when difficul 
ties appeared insurmountable. In the first sur 
prise caused by his departure from the Oratory, 
three friends are said to have remained faithful to 
him. One of them, the Baron de Renty, who was 
allied by birth with the first families in France, 
addressed to him on this occasion a letter full^ of 
esteem and affection, expressing his conviction 
that the charges brought against him were entirely 

An effort was made to prejudice the quem 
against him, and the memorial which he had pre- 


Rented to Ler was met l>y another from the 
Oratory, whose original is preserved in the Imperial 
Archives ; we quote the opening words of this 
document which will give an idea of its animus : 

" Father Eudes was a poor boy, of humhle 
birth, with small temporal possessions, and but 
little learning;" it concludes by saying, "as he 
will do nothing which is not done in the Oratory, 
it is not necessary to divide the work, or to raise 
ultar against altar." 

St. Vincent de Paul and Futher St. John Chry- 
eostom, of the Third Order of St. Francis, pleaded 
Father Eudes cause before the queen. It is even 
said that the former laid it upon her as a matter of 

When Father Eudes had framed his Constitu 
tions, he submitted them to his bishop, Mgr. 
d Angennes, who did not, however, give his appro 
val, perhaps because his advanced age and con 
tinued infirmities may have made it impossible 
for him to examine them thoroughly. Never 
theless, he continued to show the holy priest every 
mark of affection and regard ; and even granted 
him for the time of his missions the powers usually 
reserved for bishops. 

Notwithstanding all his anxieties, Father Eudes 
gave four missions in the course of this year, at 
Estralts near Corbon, and Vimontier, in the 
diocese of Lisieux, and afterwards at Arnay-le-Duc, 
and Conches, in Burgundy : the former is a little 
town about five or six leagues from Autun, and 
the latter is worthy of notice on account of a 
Benedictine priory, very rich in holy relics. The 
two missions in Burgundy were undertaken at Baron 
de Renty s request and expense. 

In grateful return for his labours in that remote 
pnrt of the country, the religious of Conches gave 
him a share of their treasures, which he bestowed 
on the seminary at Caen. 


Tn 1646 we find him again in the diocese of 
Bayeux, where he gave three missions, for M. de 
Matignon Thorigny, for M. de Kenty at Beny, 
and for M. de Repichon at Lyon, near the shrine 
of our Lady of Deliverance. 

In the following year he went through the 
dioceses of Chartres and Evreux, beginning by 
Nogent le-Rotrou ; the prejudices of the Bishop of 
Chartres had been overcome by the success of his 
conferences for the clergy, and he was pleased 
himself to open the mission given by request of 
the Duke of St. Simon, at La Ferte Vidame. 

; Father Eudes then went to Fouqneville, in the 
diocese of Evreux, where he pursued his apostolic 
labours under the direction of Mgr. de Perron, 
nephew and successor of the Cardinal of that 
name. The expenses were borne by Madame de 
Bethomas, who afterwards married M. de la Porte, 
counsellor of the parliament at Rouen. 

Mgr. de Lescot, Bishop of Chartres, then sum 
moned him to La Ferte, and begged him to pro 
vide the Advent and Lent preachers for the prin 
cipal churches in his diocese. While Father 
Eudes was thus sowing abundant seed for the 
future, it seemed but too likely that others would 
enter into his labours, for, worn by fever and 
fatigue, he fell so dangerously ill that he received 
the last sacraments. 

An inward voice made known to him that God 
.would have him forsake all that might attach him 
to earth ; he therefore made a vow to leave for a 
time the province of Normandy, to which he was 
bound by so many ties, and to devote himself to 
a part of France which he had only once visited. 
His health immediately returned, and he was con 
vinced that he owed this favour to our Lady s in 

In 1648 he set off for Autun, and though he 
Lad so lately been ill, he hud sufficient strength 



to perform a part of his long journey on foot. 
His preaching was ever attended with the same 
success ; and one most remarkahle result was, the 
abolition of a long-estahlished amusement very 
dangerous to morals. 

The greater number of the young men, of easy 
circumstances, in this place, used to form them 
selves into a society of Valentines, so called from 
the name of the holy martyr honoured by the 
Church on the 14th of February, and whose feast, 
therefore, generally coincides with the carnival. 
On that day they used to choose a leader called 
the Mad Mother, and to follow him about the 
streets, committing all manner of excesses. 

This lawless band came to hear Father Eudes 
preach, and his measured and persuasive words 
made such an impression on its members, that 
their society was broken up, and the long-tolerated 
disorders were for ever at an end.* This fact is 
full of significance; we know from experience the 
difficulties attending on the suppression of a usage 

* By a curious coincidence, we find that forty-six years before, 
St. Francis de Sales had also been obliged to deal with this deli 
cate and important subject from the pulpit. At Annecy, as well 
as at Autun, the members of the Society of Valentines had long 
been in the habit of meeting on the 14th of February. This cus 
tom, the source of many unseemly disorders, was widely spread 
throughout France, England and Scotland. For a whole year 
the voung man and woman, whose names were associated by 
lot, became each other s Valentines. At Annecy, in particular, 
married people used to take part in this unbecoming amuse 
ment, which gave rise to frequent domestic jealousies. Irom. 
the month of January the holy bishop set himself against it ; 
and when his words were ill-received, gave notice that he should 
appeal to the secular power. He promised himself to make 
Valentines, by distributing in each family tickets bearing the 
names of different saints, followed by some striking words from 
Holy Scripture, or from the writings of the Fathers. These 
tickets were drawn by lot, and the saint whose name fell to each 
person, was to be honoured as his patron throughout the corn- 
in o- year, and the maxim which followed was to be taken as his 
rule of life. (Life of St. Francis of Sales.) 

" To-morrow is St. Valentine s Day, when every bird chooses 
her mate but you will not see the linnet pair with the sparrow- 
hawk, nor the robin-redbreast with the kite." Fair Maid of 


which lime has sanctioned, and to which popular 
feeling has hecome so attached as to he blind to its 

Father Eudes obtained from the abbey of St. 
Symphorian portions of the bones of that illustri 
ous martyr, and of those of St. Proculus, the 
bishop. The head of St. Lazarus was preserved in 
the cathedral, and in his ardour for relics he could 
not but wish to have something that had belonged 
to one familiar with our Lord during His mortal 
life. The Chapter was glad to manifest its grati 
tude to him by desiring two Canons, Fathers 
Hymblot and de Montaigu, to give him a tooth 
of the saint. 

The commissioners, accompanied by witnesses, 
repaired to the sacristy of the cathedral, and en 
deavoured to remove the tooth from the jaw, but 
their efforts were ineffectual, and they were about 
to give up the attempt, when Father Eudes fell 
on his knees, and made a vow to have the office of 
St. Lazarus solemnized as a double in his Congre 
gation. The tooth immediately yielded, and Father 
de Montaigu was so struck by what had passed 
iinder his own eyes, that he lost no time in enter 
ing a Congregation whose superior was so mighty 
in prayer. The original attestation made of this 
occurrence at Autuu in 1648, is still preserved by 
the order. t 

* We allude to the game of soule, in Lower Normandy. In 
one of the parishes of the Canton of Ecouche, the most recently 
married man used to ascend the steps of the Cemetery Cross on 
the first Sunday in Lent, after Vespers, and to throw down a 
purse, for which all the young men of the place scrambled on 
the tombs of their forefathers. The one who got possession of 
it took to his heels, and was pursued by the others ; he had to 
pass through three different communes before it was considered 
his lawful property ; on the following Sundays this game was 
repeated, until this condition had been fulfilled. The content* 
of the purse were then spent in revelry. 

) Father Eudes had a remarkable devotion to the relics of the 
saints. It was strengthened by the consideration of the honour 
which the Church has always paid them, and of the fury which 


Tbe feast of the Sacred Heart of the Blessed 
Virgin was celebrated during the course of the 
mission at Antun. On this occasion, in the 
Abbey of St. Jean-le-Grand, one of the Benedic 
tine nuns, who had become blind after an attack of 
measles, called her iufirmarian, and begged her 
to teach her the salutation to the Sacred Heart of 
Mary, " Hail ! Most Holy Heart." The holy 
Mother of God immediately answered her prayer 
by tbe restoration of her sight. " I was an eye 
witness of this fact," says Father Eudes, "and 
have an autbentic attestation of it." 

Tbe letter in which he mentions this occurrence 
is addressed to the Venerable Catharine de Bar, 
known as Mother Mechtilde of tbe Blessed Sacra 
ment, and foundress of the Benedictines of the 
Perpetual Adoration. 

Tbe great men of the Church have generally met 
with pious women to assist them in their holy 

God does not wish man to be alone, and in 
these holy friendships where the love of God and 
of souls have formed a bond between two hearts, 
it would be hard to say which has gained the 
most. " We know not whether the mother and 
daughter, who, under St. Jerome s direction, vied 
with the most mortified hermits of the desert, or 
St. Jerome himself, who was induced by their 
fervour and their entreaties to write so many im 
mortal and ever-glorious works, reaped the richest 
benefits from their holy union." 

Protestants have always directed against them. He not only 
constantly wore them, or kept them in his oratory, but once 
every year, on the Feast of the Holy Relics, he exposed them 
for the veneration of the faithful. (Annales. P. Costil.) 

Among the documents which have recently been found, and 
entrusted to Father Le Dore, Postulator in the cause of hia 
beatification, is a MSS. of three pages, in which he bears wit 
ness that the Blessed Virgin had revealed to him the names of 
many saints, whose relics he had received without any dis 
tinguishing mark. (Communicated by Father Le Dore.) 


The pious devotion of St. Paula and her daughter 
Eustochium, was an invaluable assistance to St. 
Jerome. " Amidst the troubles of the time, and 
the opposition of men, he found refreshment in 
turning to look on the picture of their virtues, and 
gained strength to rise to calmer regions."* 

"I cannot explain to you," says St. Francis of 
Sales to St. Chantal, " the amount or the nature 
of the affection by which I am devoted to your 
service in spiritual things; but I must say that I 
believe it is from God, and therefore I will ever 
cherish it, and daily I am sensible of its increase. 
It it were suitable, I would say much more, but I 
must stop here." f 

Again, we know how St. John of the Cross, the 
Reformer of the Order of Mount Carmel, caught 
St. Theresa s burning zeal. 

From the time when Mother Agnes de Langeac 
was brought into contact with Father Oilier, that 
lioly priest made wondrous advances in all those 
sacerdotal virtues, which he still transmits to 
generation after generation of worthy servants of 
the Church. 

Mile. Louise de Manrillac, widow of M. Le 

* Vie de Ste. Paule, par 1 Abbe Bougaud. 

f In the year 1653, Queen Anne of Austria, mother of Louia 
XIV., wished to establish Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed 
Sacrament, by way of reparation for the sacrileges which had 
been committed during the civil wars. God raised up for this 
purpose a nun, who had been obliged to come to Paris with her 
companions. This was Catharine de Bar, of St. Die, in Lor 
raine ; in religion, Mother Mechtilde of the Blessed Sacrament. 
The Queen, by the intervention of M. Picote, chose her as the 
person to carry out the vow she had made ; a house was pur 
chased in the Rue Cassette, Faubourg St. Germain, and the Per 
petual Adoration was solemnly inaugurated on the 25th March, 
1653. The Queen Mother, with a rope round her neck, was the 
first to make an act of solemn reparation to our Lord, with a 
devotion which edified all beholders. 

On the 4th of December, 1676, Pope Innocent XI. granted a 
bull of approbation and many privileges. The Benedictine nuns 
of Caen made a vow of perpetual adoration on the 30th Septem 
ber, 1685. 


Gras, Qneen Mary de Medicis secretary, was a 
fellow-labourer with St. Vincent de Paul in all 
his works of charity. 

Similar relations existed between Father Eudes 
and the venerable Catharine de Bar. They gave 
each other mutual support, and, during his many 
afflictions, the priest needed the consolations 
offered by the holy nun, whose own troubled life 
must often have made her exclaim with St. Jerome, 
" Great toil, but a great reward." 

The following circumstances enable us to ascer 
tain the period when the friendship between 
Father Eudes and Mother Catharine de Bar and her 
nuns induced them to adopt the salutation to the 
Sitcred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, which is still 
daily recited by the Eudists and the Benedictines 
of the Perpetual Adoration. Father Eudes used 
to say, "I adore Thee, I praise Thee;" in the 
year 1650, some observations were addressed to 
him regarding the words, " I adore Thee" and 
he thought it well to change them. It was not 
till 1663 that he reverted to the orignal mode of 
expression, for which he had substituted, " I praise 
Thee, I bless Thee." 

It was between the years 1653 and 1663 that 
these relations were established, for the Benedic 
tines still say, "I bless Thee," instead of, "I 
adore Thee." 

" From many different directions," says Father 
Le Dore, " questions, and even objections, have 
reached me, touching the formula, Ave Cor Jesu 
et Marice, te adoramus. I had prepared a treatise 
in answer, but think it well to delay its publica 
tion until after the cause has been introduced at 
the court of Rome. Meanwhile a few words may 
suffice to remove all difficulties. The expression, 
Cor Jesu et Mar ice, like Cor unum et anima una, 
in the Acts, merely indicates a moral union ; it was 
also approved by the Sacred Congregation of Itites, 


in our Offices for the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and 
Mary.* With regard to the word, te adoramus, 
theologians have always used it in Latin for every 
kind of worship, it is only in modern French that 
its signification seems confined to the worship of 
latria ; we may therefore fearlessly repeat with 
our revered Father, Ave Cor amantissimum 
Jesu et Mariae, te adoramus. 

The name of the venerable Mother de Bar has 
carried us on too far, and we must now return to 
the year 1648. 

Ten or twelve days after the conclusion of his 
mission at Autun, Father Eudes recommenced his 
work at Beaune, at the request of M. de Reuty, 
who contributed to the support of this mission as 
well as of the former one. 

An ample harvest was again granted to his 
labours, and as nothing farther detained them at 
Beaune, Father E tides and his devoted compan 
ions returned to M. de Renty, the lord of the 
soil, who was soon to enter into his rest. " The 
mission here was begun at Pentecost," wrote this 

* We give the prayer, Ave Cor Sanctissimum, which has been 
daily used in all Father Eudes Institutions, as well as in the 
Congregation of the Benedictines of the Blessed Sacrament, 
from the time of their foundation, that is to say, for more than 
two centuries. 

Ave Cor Sanetissimum, Tibi gratias agimus, 

Ave Cor mitissimum, Te amamus, 

Ave Cor humillimum, Ex toto corde nostro, 

Ave Cor purissimum, Ex tota anima nostra, 

Ave Cor devotissimum, Et ex totis viribus nostris, 

Ave Cor Bapientissimum, Tibi cor nostrum offerimus, 

Ave Cor patientissimum, Donamus, 

Ave Cor obedientissimum, Consecramus, 

Ave Cor vigilantissiraum, Immolamus, 

Ave Cor fidelissimum, Accipe et posside illud totum, 

Ave Cor beatissimum, Et purifica, 

Ave Cor misericordissimum, Et illumina, 

Ave Cor amantissimum, Jesu Et sanctifica, 

et Marias, Et in ipso vivas et regnes, et 
Te adoramus, nunc et semper, et in stecula 

Te laudamus, Baeculorum. Amen. 

Te glorificamus, 


pious nobleman to bis director, Fatber St. Jure, 
a Jesuit, " and it bas been attended witb wonder 
ful blessings ; bearts bave been toucbed witb con 
trition, so tbat tears bave poured fortb abundantly. 
A number of restitutions bave been made, and the 
practice of common prayer has been established 
in families. Oaths and blasphemies have ceased, 
and people come from three or four leagues off to 
hear the word of God." We have reason to 
believe that M. de Renty s example assisted the 
preaching of the missionaries. 

The Princess de Conde* now invited Father 
Eudes to la Fere-en-Tardenois; she provided tbe 
necessary funds, and Mgr. Legras, tbe Bishop of 
Soissons, followed the mission, wbich was given 
by eleven priests, under the direction of their 
superior; Father Dufour, tbe Archdeacon, men 
tions tbese facts in the honourable testimony he 
has rendered to tbe missionaries. Father Eudes 
health was in no way injured by these labours, 
wbich he undertook in fulfilment of the vow he 
had made to preach the Word of God in Burgundy 
before returning to Normandy, where the reward of 
his labours awaited him. 

The year 1648 was full of events, and brought 
successes wbich consoled him for the death of his 
early and constant patron Mgr. d Angennes, which 
had taken place in May 1647. Mgr. Mole, his 
successor, proved himself the enemy of all those 

* The Princess of Conde, Charlotte Margaret de Montmorency, 
was said to be the most beautiful woman in Europe. She Lad 
been married to Henry II., Prince of Conde, posthumous son of 
Henry I. His chief glory is, that he was the father of the great 
Conde, brother to the Prince de Conti. The Princess had been 
two years a widow at the time when she sent for Father Eudes. 
In the course of the year 1048, her son, who was already covered 
with glory, gained the victory of Lens over Archduke Leopold, 
and this victory led to peace with Germany. But the troubles 
of the Fronde were about to desolate France, civil war was im 
minent, and families were to be divided. The mother of two 
princes, who were to take st> prominent a part in these events 
had, indeed, reason to turn to God. 


who had been particularly attached to his prede 
cessor ; he did not take possession of his see until 
1649, but meanwhile the capitular graud-vicars 
were equally hostile to Father Eudes. 

The storm seemed gathering on all sides. 
Father Eudes was obliged to content himself with 
merely keeping his ground, without making a 
single step in advance, at least in Normandy. 
For the present he undertook no missions in the 
diocese of Bayenx. 

But Mgr. de Harlay, the Archhishop of Rouen, 
who had appointed him head of the missions in 
Normandy, was still there, and the kindness and 
confidence which he had always shewn to Father 
Eudes, encouraged him to address a petition to 
Mm, asking in his own name and that of his 
fellow-labourers, for the approval of their institu 
tion, for permission to teach young ecclesiastics, 
and train them in the duties of their calling, and 
to continue the work of missions in his province, 
in submission to the Ordinaries, whom he declared 
he should always consider as his .superiors. 

The Oratoriaus accused Father Eudes of a spirit 
of pride and independence, peculiarly incompatible 
with the state of life which he had embraced. 

It was but natural that they should attack one 
of his dearest virtues, the virtue of humility, the 
chosen virtue, as St. Paul tells us, of our Lord, 
the foundation of our salvation, the guardian of 
piety, and the preparation for heavenly benedic 

" Give me a truly humble soul," Father Eudes 
used to say, " and I am sure that it is a truly 
holy soul ; if it is humble to a great degree, it is 
holy to a great degree; if it is very humble, it is 
very holy ; all virtues adorn it, the Divine Majesty 
is glorified by it ; Jesus abides in it, it is His 
treasure and paradise of delights ; it will be very 
great in the kingdom of heaven, for the Gospel 


tells us that he that hnmbleth himself shall be 
exalted ; on the contrary, a sonl without humility 
is the abode of devils, and an abyss of vices." 

According to the teaching of the fathers, Chris 
tian humility consists of two things ; self-know 
ledge, and love of one s own lowness and nothing 
ness. The first is called humility of mind, and 
the second humility of heart. We may safely say 
that no man was ever more deeply versed than 
Father Eudes in this important science.* His 
whole life was an exercise of the virtue of humi 
lity ; he was humble, in its smallest details ; he 
refused things naturally belonging to his position. 
We may observe, that in petitions where his fel 
low-labourers are named, he takes care to place 
himself the last, and uses no title or mark of 

Far from seeking independence, he submitted 
to the authority of the Ordinaries, and we have 
eeen how he sought to be joined with Father 
d Authier de Sisgau in his labours, promising 
obedience to the rules which that holy priest had 
laid down for his institution. 

Mgr. de Harlay returned a favourable answer to 
Father Eudes request, and ordered his decision 
to be recorded in his own archives and those of 
the other bishops, without prejudice to their 

This success placed Father Eudes in a position 
to renew his application to the Holy See, and he 
turned again to Father Mannoury, who accepted 
this second mission with ready zeal. We shall 
soon see him once more at Rome. 

In the course of his journeys through many 
parts of the kingdom, many disorders had come 
under Father Eudes notice ; he had seen the 
effects of many abuses, he had been the confidant 

* Vertus du Ptre Eudes. P. Herambourg. 


and comforter of the afflicted, who were oppressed 
by these very abuses, and had no power to defend 

He did not shrink from the stern duty of mak 
ing these things known to the Queen Kegeut. 
The humble missionary took a high line, and at 
the very time when he had himself to ask for 
assistance against his powerful enemies, he ran. 
the risk of alienating those who abused their posi 
tion by depriving their vassals of the rights dear 
est to the heart of a Frenchman. Fearing that 
he might fail to obtain an audience of the Queen, 
who was at that time fully and anxiously occupied 
by the troubles of the Fronde,* he drew up a 
memorial, accompanied by a letter, which is at 
once a master-piece of delicacy, of respectful bold 
ness, and of dignity. "Madame/ he says, "while 
I offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for yonr 
majesty, during your present troubles, God was 
pleased to send me an inspiration which I cannot 
reject. It is most humbly to beg your majesty, in 
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of His 
Most Holy Mother, to employ the authority you 
have received from them in staying the impetuous 
torrent of iniquity, which now makes such strange 
ravages in France, which casts countless souls 
into hell, and is the sole cause of all the miseries 
of the kingdom. 

"It is deplorable, Madame, and might make one 

* At the time of the Fronde, (1648,) three parties existed in 
France, the Frondeurs, the Mazarins, and the Moderates. 
Bachaumont, son of the President le Coigneux, compared the 
Parliament to the students, who used to fight with slings, 
(Frondes,) in the moat of Paris. He said that the sight of the 
Duke of Orleans had the same effect on the Parliament as that 
of the Lieutenant of the town, or the archers, on the students. 
These youths used to disperse as soon as any of the authorities 
appeared, and when they had passed by, continued the fight. 
Bachaumont said that his father s opinion ought to be hurled as 
from a sling. The word took, and was the origin of the name of 
Fronde bestowed on the most extreme Parliamentary party, its 
members considered it an honour to be called Frondeurs, 
(Sliiigers.) (L 5 Esprit de la Fronde.; 


weep tears of blood, to see so many souls, which 
have cost Jesus Christ His Precious Blood, perish, 
and to know that the evil is constantly on the in 
crease, and that few people lay it to heart. How 
much is done when some temporal interest of 
princes and kings is at stake! But the interests 
of the Sovereign Euler are neglected. We wear 
out our lives in our missions, by crying out against 
innumerable disorders which pervade France, to 
God s infinite dishonour and the damnation of 
many souls, and He gives us grace to remedy 
some of them. But, Madame, I am certain, that 
if your majesty would use the power which God 
has given you, you individually could do more 
towards the destruction of the devil s tyranny, and 
the establishment of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, 
than all the missionaries and preachers put to 
gether. Should your majesty wish to know the 
means, it would be easy to lay them before you, 
and still easier for your majesty, with the grace of 
our Lord, to make use of them." 

In the memorial, Father Eudes urges the reform 
of the clergy, the prohibition of fairs and markets 
on Sundays, the suppression of certain modes of 
recovering taxes, and of public balls. He wished 
to have duellists* and blasphemers brought to jus 
tice, and some bounds set to the liberty of the 
press and the luxury of women. Finally, he called 
attention to the new heresy of Jansenism, which 
had then begun to gain ground both in the capital 
and the provinces, as the evil calling most urgently 
for a speedy remedy. 

What part did Mezeray take in the preparation 

* Duels for the moat trifling causes were of daily occurrence 
amongst the nobility. It is said that in a few years 900 noble 
men perished in these encounters, with regard to which Louis 
XIII. published a terrible edict, making the sending of a chal 
lenge a capital crime. Boutteville Montmorency was beheaded, 
with Count Deschapelles his second, for having challenged 
Beurron, and fought with him on the Place Eoyale. 


of this memorial ? We do not know, but be must 
certainly bave been Consulted by Fatber Eudes, 
who was less conversant with the customs of the 
court and capital. The Queen expressed her 
satisfaction with the missionary s advice, and if 
she was unable to carry it oiit, he, at least, rose in 
her favour and esteem. 

" Notwithstanding bis gentleness and humility, 
bis priestly office, and his constant habit of obedi 
ence and charity, Father Eudes origin betrayed 
itself," M. Levavasseur tells us, " by a certain 
rustic roughness of manner, and a freedom of 
speech, like that which the Fronde valued perhaps 
too highly in Mezeray, but which, kept within due 
bounds, gave so much vigour to Charles d Houay 
and other magistrates of former days." 

By this time Mezeray bad published the second 
volume of his History of France, and spite of his 
caustic spirit he was made much of, received pen 
sions both from France and other countries, and 
occupied a high position among literary men. Ha 
took the place of Voiture in the French Academy, 
almost at the same time as Charles Eudes dii 
d Houay offered a courageous resistance to the 
govenor of the province, Jacques Eousel de Me- 
dave, and pronounced the noble words recorded in 
our first chapter, which still make his name cele 
brated in the town of Argentan. 

Mezeray, who has been so severely dealt with 
by the author of the Spirit of the Fronde, had not 
yet, rightly or wrongly, been classed amongst the 
writers who kept alive disaffection, and dessemi- 
nated pamphlets against the Queen, the Minister, 
and the Government. The Queen s constant fa 
vour for Father Eudes tends, to our mind, to clear 
Lis brother from the charge of disloyalty. Father 
Eudes would naturally bave shared in the attacks 
ruade on Mezeray, and his ever-watchful enemies 
would not have failed to turn against the holy 


missionary, a weapon which might have heeii the 
more dangerous, because his holy zeal had already 
led him to speak openly to her majesty of the evil 
influences at work in the affairs of state. 

Moreover, the celebrated author was not, as 
some have asserted, driven by penury to practise 
the dangerous trade of a mischief-maker and 



Father Mairaoury having, with his habitual 
self-devotion, undertaken a second mission to 
Home in the interests of the Congregation, left 
Caen on foot and proceeded to Lyons.- He re 
mained for a short time in that town to recruit 
his strength. After having offered the Holy Sacri 
fice of the Mass in the Chapel of the Convent of 
the Visitation at Bellecourt, he obtained permis- 


Bion to hold in bis hands for a few moments tho 
precious reliquary containing tho Heart of St. 
Francis of Sales, enclosed in crystal.* Ho gained 
fresh courage from this favour; nevertheless, when 
he reached Rome ho was half-dead with fatigue, 
and quite unable to begin his business. His own 
energy did more for him than any of the remedies 
which woro administered, and as soon as possible 
ho presented his requests to tho Cardinals of tho 

AH tho reports set on foot by the friends of tho 
-Oratory fell to tho ground before tho decisive let- 
tors addressed to Popo Innocent X. and tho Car 
dinal d Esto, by tho King and tho Queen Regent. 
M. do Fontonay, the French Ambassador to 
Itome, had received orders to use all tho influence: 
of his high position iu seconding Father Man- 
noury s cause. 

Such protection accorded to a simple religions 
at a moment when all interests centered ,iu Paris, 
and when civil war was imminent, formed an 
abundant proof of tho manner in which Father 
Eudes labours and their results were appreciated. 

Tho Oratory Fathers having heard of Father 
Mannoury s journey, did everything in their power 
to counteract tho effect of the royal sympathy. 
They attacked him with a violence proportioned to 
their vexation at tho withdrawal of his superior ; 

* M. Ollior, a jwlgo, father of the founder of St. Sulpico, 
ordered that tho body of 8t. Francis of Sales Bhould bo opened 
and embalmed ; tho Keart was found large and healthy. It was 
piven to tho Monastery of tho Visitation, and at Jflrat enclosed 
in silver reliquary, afterwards in a magnificent gold one, given 
by Louis XIII., in testimony of his gratitude for his cure by 
tho application of this holy Heart. (Life of St. Francis do 
Sal OH.) 

When tho Revolution broke out, tho Visitandines of Lyons 
wi l,lnl row i.o Venice, whore, protected by tho liberty of tho littlo 
l,V|Mibli<-, they established a Convent and built a Chapel. Tho 
Heart of St. Francis of Sales wan placed in it, under a da i H, in 
a crystal reliquary adorned with jewels. (liiatory of St. Chan- 


that priest, \vlio according to them was without 
birth, fortune, or learning. 

Tho first two articles of this accusation were 
true ; the humhlo Father Eudes was willing to let 
all men know that ho was a peasant s son ; it was 
well known also that ho had given up his patri 
mony. Certainly, circumstanced as he was, ho 
could not acquire nohility or fortune, hut he had 
acquired learning learning so great that ho had 
been permitted to preach before the usual ago. 
His spirit of self-devotion had made him bravo 
the dangers of the plaguo in order to serve^ his 
brethren ; ho had all the qualities required in a 
loader, for ho had been chosen to direct his equals, 
and to bo superior of tho Oratory at Caen.* 

* Father Kudos was persecuted as his former master Cardinal 
do Bcrullo had boon. Kichor, Syndic of tho Sorbonne, endea 
voured in 1G13 to raise a violent storm against tho new Congre 
gation, Ho proposed to deprive of their doctor s degree, and 
expel from tho Sorbonno, any of its members who had entered 
tho Oratory. 

In all Father Endes writings, in tho Annals of tho Congrega 
tion of Jesus and Mary, in tho account of his virtues by Father 
]l< :rambourg, in his lii o by Father Uourior, etc., wo meet with 
more facts, unaccompanied by any bitter recriminations. " Ca 
lumny wont so far," says Father Bourier, "as to accuse him of 
having appropriated to his own infant order considerable sums 
belonging to tho Oratory. I had rather not believe that tho 
Oratorians gave currency to such a story, for they well knew 
the probity of their former colleague." 

Nevertheless, it in certain that tho members of tho Oratory, 
who had boon won over to Jansenism, never ceased to oppose 
Father Kudos in all his works. Father A. Perraud, historian 
of the Oratory, himself says, " Wo do not shrink from admitting 
that, from tho time when .Jansenism gained ground, many of the 
Oratory Fathers wore unfortunately distinguished by a blind 
animosity to tho Society of Josus." Now tho Society of Jesus, 
ami the Order of Jesus and Mary, have always followed tho 
game banner. Wo heartily subscribe to tho sentiment expressed 
by the same Father : " Happily the past has carried away those 
(ilVc.leto traditions of antagonism between religious order*. 
J IKI perils of modern society, tho over-increasing needs of tho 
aposlohi.te, the paramount importance of tho union of all gene 
rous efforts for tho defence of tho Christian faith, have, wo 
hope, rendered tho return of these grievous dissensions an im 
possibility. Formerly, tho general interests of the Church may 
fcometimcs have boeri forgot.twn for the interewts of some special 
body ; now this could not bo done without treason. Now, inure 


The partisans of the Oratory at Rome dwelt 
much on the uselessness of the new Congregation 
which Father Eudes wished to found, and on his 
ambitious desire for the downfall of the Order 
which had originally received him as its memher. 

Nothing could be more * unfounded than these 
imputations. Far from heing useless, Father 
Endes and his brethren were unable to get-through 
all the work of their missions, and by reverting to 
Cardinal de Berulle s original intention, they filled 
up a void left by the Oratory. They appreciated 
the greatness of this institution, and doubtless 
they daily prayed God to root out the -cancer which 
was eating into its core, and which had so under 
mined its vital energy, that at the time of the 
Revolution it was not able to seal its faith by 
martyrdom, as did the Congregation of Jesus and 
Mary, on the 2nd September, 1792. Fairness ia 
the "first duty of an historian, and we must not fail 
to mention, that on the 10th of May, 1792, the 
dying Oratory "wished to breathe forth its last 
breath at the feet of the Vicar of Jesus Christ," 
and that it addressed to him a letter, which con 
cludes with an assurance of most faithful obedi 
ence to the authority and the person of St. Peter s 
successor. The inroads of Jansenism, and the 
charge of lay schools, where its members, being 
too few to fill the place of the Jesuits who had 
been dismissed, were obliged to admit such asso 
ciates as Fouche, were the principal causes of the 
decay and ruin of this great. Order; causes fully 
foreseen by Cardinal de Berulle and Father de 

Jansenism has ever been fatal -to its victims, 
and as its false maxims have made any compact 

than ever, a mighty battle ia being fought, and whatever may 
be our place in the army, we must all be united in rallying round 
one banner ; the standard of Jesus Christ, borne by His vicar 
on earth, by the Head of the Hierarchy, must bring all men to 
Christ, and by Christ to God." 


impossible, a wide breach Las been opened to sub 
versive and revolutionary principles. 

Vain as were the accusations of wbich we bave 
spoken, they might yet bave taken effect, for Rome 
was unwilling to multiply foundations identical in 
almost everything except name. 

To avoid all difficulties of tbis kind, Father 
Mannoury contented bimself witb merely seeking 
for tbe Confirmation of tbe Seminary at Caen, and 
tbe indulgences necessary for tbe missions. 

A. note from Cardinal Grimaldi, wbo always 
shewed mucb affection for Fatber Eudes, informed 
him tbat tbe Holy Fatber never gave apostolic 
powers to Episcopal missionaries, tbat is, to tbose 
wbo were simply appointed by tbe Bisbops, but 
exclusively to tbose created by apostolic autbority, 
wbo tben received, as a separate matter, from tbe 
Congregation of tbe Holy Office, and from tbe 
Propaganda, privileges mucb more ample than 
tbose wbicb Fatber Eudes bad asked for. It was 
necessary to make tbe request for confirmation 
by apostolic autbority by intervention of tbe Bi 
shops, who, in these cases, made a statement to 
tbe Cardinals of tbe Propaganda, tbat their dio 
ceses were infested with heresy, and that they had 
been satisfied with the results of the labours of 
such a person. 

As we have seen above, Fatber Eudes had faith 
fully followed tbe line of proceeding laid down* 

Cardinal Capponi was charged by the fope with 
the examination of this matter. His judgment 
regarding it was most favourable, and he shewed 
himself ready to help Father Eudes, not only in 
the establishment of tbe Seminary at Caen, but 
also in regard to aay other which he might be able 
to found elsewhere. 

Cardinal Capponi s opinion received further con 
firmation from the signatures affixed to a decree 
of the 23rd of March, 1648, from which we quote 


the following words : " After receiving the report 
made by the most Eminent Cardinal Sforzia of 
Father Eudes petition to the Holy See, for the 
confirmation of a seminary at Caen, erected under 
his direction, and having duly weighed the reasons 
to the contrary, adduced by the Fathers of the 
Oratory, the sacred Congregation declares that the 
said seminary, having been erected in conformity 
with the intention of the Council of Trent, the 
approbation of the Holy See is not required, but 
it ought to continue in its present form." 

This conclusion is one of great importance; 
it justified the steps taken by Father Eudes, as 
well in leaving the Oratory as in founding a semi 
nary in accordance with the principles laid down 
by the Council of Trent. 

His enemies made a despairing effort to impede 
the grant of the Apostolic powers which he had 
Bought for his missions. But, notwithstanding 
these new obstacles, Father Mannoury succeeded 
in bringing the affair to a happy conclusion, and 
on the 20th of April obtained a certificate couched 
in tbe following terms : " Having taken the report 
made by the most Eminent Cardinal Sforzia into 
consideration, their eminences, the cardinals, have 
entrusted the mission in Normandy to Master 
John Eudes, secular priest, and his companions, 
to be approved by the Nuncio in France, and pro 
posed to the Holy Congregation ; they also have 
thought fit to appoint Father Eudes head of this 
mission, and desire him to apply to the Congrega 
tion of the Holy Office for the usual powers." 

On tbe same day tbe Sovereign Pontiff issued 
his apostolic letters, and on the 24th of April the 
Congregation of the Holy Office granted the said 

Father Mannoury did not venture to bring for 
ward tbe affair of the Daughters of our Lady of 
Charity of the Kefuge ; he considered it more pru- 


dent to rest satisfied with the success obtained, 
and to trespass no further on the kindness of his 
zealous protectors at Rome. We shall see here 
after that the moment would not have heen favour 
able for any attempt of this kind. Before leaving 
Rome he received some authentic relics, which he 
knew were the most acceptable gifts he could bring 
back to his superior. 

The distinguished approbation of the Holy 
Father gave new warmth to the affection of Father 
Eudes friends, and elicited fresh proofs of it. In 
1649, M. de Quetissant bought, in the name of 
the Order, which gave him credit for the price, 
(7000 livres,) the honse known afterwards by the 
name of the Old Mission, and hitherto merely 
hired by the missionaries. The deed of sale states 
that the donor had bought it at their request and 
with their funds. Henceforth they had a certain 
place of abode, and one serious cause of anxiety 
was removed. 

It was not to be supposed that the enemies of 
the Seminary would bow in silence to the decision 
of the Sovereign Pontiff. They were ever on the 
watch, and more particularly when Mgr. Mole took 
possession of the See of Bayeux, on the 20th July, 
1649. The prelate began by forbidding the mis 
sionaries to exercise any of their functions in his 
diocese. The Bishop of Coutances took advantage 
of this circumstance to summon Father Endes 
to his assistance, and during the summer of 1649 
he directed missions at St. Sauveur-Landelin, 
Briquebec, Allaume and St. Sever. The last of 
these missions was given at the request of the 
Baron de Renty, who had in view the reform of an 
abbey of the Order of St. Benedict in that town. 
Success attended this delicate undertaking, but 
death prevented the Baron from assisting at the 

A faithful friend was taken from Father Eudes 


in thig nobleman ; but a few days before be bad 
proposed to accompany him, witb big wife and 
some pioug ladieg, in order to serve bim during 
tbe time of bis missiong. "We will endeavour," 
be wrote, " to do it witbout noige and witboufc 
being known, taking a separate lodging. See if 
you will be our father." 

If we remember tbat tbe Baron de Renty, like 
tbe cbosen companion of bis boly life, belonged to 
one of tbe most illustrious families in France, 
tbat be bad been equally distinguished at court by 
bis virtue, bis fortune, and bis birth, and in the 
army by bis courage and military talents ; if we 
consider that the higher aristocracy of that period 
beld aloof even from tbe mere nobility, we may 
well imagine what must have been the merits of 
the priest whom a great lord and noble ladies 
offered to serve as a lay-brother and deaconnesses, 
though despised and persecuted in bis own 
country, and forbidden to minister in the very 
diocese where be bad bealed many bleeding 
wounds, dried many tears, and consoled many sor 

Father Eudes soul was strong, but big body 
sometimes gave way beneath the burden. In 1649, 
be was attacked by illness, as be bad been in the 
preceding year; bis recovery is believed to have 
been an answer to prayer. After the mission at 
St. Sever, be and bis companions returned to 
spend the winter at Caen, devoting themselves to 
that interior life which, while it allows necessary 
rest to tbe body, lets the soul recover its strength 
and elasticity in prayer and meditation. 

"A thousand years of tbe pleasures of the world," 
said the venerable priest, "are not worth one 
moment of the sweetness which God gives to the 
soul that seeks her delight in conversing with Him 
by meditation. By this boly exercise she pos 
sesses berself, and is possessed in Him. There 


is no bitterness in the conversation of wisdom, 
nor any weariness in her company, but consolation 
and joy." 

Father Elides looked on prayer as bis first and 
most important business. He would say to eccle 
siastics, "If you would know what piety is, if you 
would possess it, practise mental prayer." No one 
ever worked and prayed as much as be did ; no one 
ever knew better bow to unite action and contempla 
tion ; no apostolic preacher ever conversed so much 
with God, and so much with man. Besides the 
time which be daily gave to meditation and prayer, 
he used invariably to make an annual retreat of 
ten days or more. On these occasions, laying 
aside all bis ordinary occupations, be devoted 
himself entirely to tbe contemplation of God, to 
loving and glorifying Him. He looked on this 
time of retreat as a little portion of eternity, a 
foretaste of paradise, it was a spiritual autumn 
during which he gathered together tbe provisions 
necessary for the rest of tbe year. These blessed 
days were like those of which tbe prophet says, 
" Dies pleni invenientur eis."* 

The missionaries still found ample scope for 
their zeal in the diocese of Coutances, where 
they were ever welcome. Vesly, about four 
leagues from Coutances, was, like many other 
parishes, infested by vice, and little good could be 
expected from tbe ministrations of priests who 
were themselves ignorant of their most essential 
duties. Not far from this town was the Abbey of 
Lessay, of the order of St. Benedict, founded in 

M. de Cybrantot furnished the funds for tbe 
mission at Vesly, which was undertaken by Fathers 
Eudes, de Montaigu, Finel, Jourdan, Manchon, 
and some other ecclesiastics, amongst whom was 

* P. Herambourg. Vertua du P. Eudes. 


Nicholas Paillot, priest of St. Michael of Vaucelle, 
at Caen.* 

Oar missionaries began their apostolic labours 
in this parish in the course of the summer of 
1650 ; the judge of the place, an old soldier, who, 
on his return from the wars, had settled in the 
neighbourhood, gave them important assistance. 
Father Eudes brought back many erring souls, 
nnd induced the inhabitants to transfer to Tuesday 
a fair which used to take place on Sunday at 
Lessay, and to restore to its original purpose a 
forsaken chapel, dedicated to our Lady of Sole, 
or Consolation. He then proceeded with his com 
panions to Danneville, where the concourse of peo 
ple was so great, that it became necessary to preach 
in the open air. 

Important affairs of the Congregation obliged 
Father Eudes to go to Paris, he was there 
fore only present at the opening of this mission, 
and entrusted its direction to Father Manchon ; 
but before leaving his brethren he held a confer 
ence, in which he gave them the counsels which 
bis wisdom and experience suggested. At present 
their course lay among thorns ; and prudence was 
more than ever necessary. The principal subject 
of this conference was the instruction and educa 
tion of children, and the necessity of instilling 
into their minds respect for holy places. 

Plato said, "The happiness of families depends 
on the education of their children ; the rise and 
fall of houses is in proportion to their vice or 

Does not our 19th century furnish many proofs 

* Father Paillot almost always accompanied Father Eudeg on 
his missions, and had the greatest esteem and affection for him. 
He died at Vaucelle in Caen, on the 21st of May, 1687, aged 
eixty-seven. We have been unable to discover the entry of his 
death, the oldest registers of the parish being of a more recent 
date. But we gladly believe that the faithful companion of our 
great uncle was a member of the ancient family of Paillot, to 
which we are closely allied. 


of the truth proclaimed by Plato, four centuries 
before the birth of Jesus Christ, and are not our 
great families taking warning by the examples of 
the last generation, and making the most laudable 
efforts to stem the torrent which was carrying 
them pitilessly to destruction with their children, 
and all their glorious recollections? God gives 
His messengers power to read the future, and 
Father Eudes believed that the only means of 
guarding against threatening dangers, was to in 
spire children with the fear of God, which is the 
best antidote to lawlessness, as charity is the sure 
pledge of salvation. And with this same convic 
tion we entrust our sons to his successors, until 
the moment comes when they must be launched 
into public life. They may at first meet with the 
epectre which appeared to Bulvver Lytton when a 
student, the spectre of stern labour, discourage 
ment, delay, injustice, .and failure of hopes. But 
let them look it in the face, let them struggle, let 
them persevere,* and, sooner or later, they are 
sure to gain the day, especially if they love their 
calling more than themselves. 

Missions at Fierville and Gatheville were given 
in the same year as that of Danneville. 

Father Eudes .position with regard to bis 
Bishop was of a nature to compromise him in all 
his proceedings, and it was therefore a duty to do 
everything in his power to remove the prejudices 
which .that prelate had imbibed before his arrival 
at Bayeux ; the task ought to have been an easy 
one, considering the favourable nature of Father 
Eudes antecedents in the diocese. But although 
he went to Paris to explain his motives, and lay his 

Count De L ~, an old Lieutenant- General officer tinder 
Louis XV. and Louis XVI., said to a young student of St. Cyr, 
who was joining bis regiment for the first time, " My advice to 
you may be summed up in one word, Persevere !" 


defence before the hishop, no change seems to 
have taken place in his sentiments. 

Providence, however, permitted that these per 
secutions should be the means of dispelling the 
principal accusation brought forward by the Ora- 

The de Repichons had contributed to the foun 
dation of the seminary at Caen by the gift of 
several pieces of ground valued at 14,000 livres ; 
the deed of gift was made before the notary royal 
at Caen, on the llth of September, 1644, under 
one condition , viz., that the foundation should be 
legalized by the registration of Mgr. d Angennes 
letters patent, at the parliament at Rouen. 
Father de Than had given 1,500 livres under 
a mortgage, and 300 of arrears, and Father Finel 
800, also under mortgage, by a contract of the 2nd 
of August, 1644, in which the same condition was 
laid down. Father Ferriere, parish priest of 
Gace, who had been for three years endeavouring 
to bring this affair to a conclusion, having answered 
for the integrity of Father Eudes intentions, the 
president, M. d Amfreville, was willing to let it 
proceed. But two difficulties at once presented 
themselves; the death of Mgr. d Angennes and 
the expiration of the letters patent, which had 
been issued more than five years before. To ask 
for new ones from Mgr. Mole was out of the ques 
tion. At length the parliament proceeded with 
the affair, and the letters were registered on the 
23rd of March, 1650. 

The lawsuit which the de Repichons had already 
instituted for the non-fulfilment of the required 
condition, was thus arrested, and the following 
moral result was obtained, viz., that the donations 
had been made, not to Father Eudes himself, but 
to his institution. 

But the registration of the letters patent, with 
out any fresh application to Mgr. Mole, now 


became the principal catise of complaint. More 
over, representations had been made to tbe pre 
late to tbe effect tbat Father Eudes bad im 
posed upon Mgr. d Angennes, by founding an 
order instead of a seminary. Now, Mgr. d An 
gennes letters of institution contain tbe follow 
ing very explicit words : " Congregationem ecclesi- 
asticorum sub nomine et tituli presbyterorum 
Congregationis Jesu et MarisB, utpote summo 
Domini Jesu sancti ordinis presbyteratus sacer- 
dotio consecratam nee non sub protectione beatis- 
Bimas Virginis Marise matris ejus constitutam." 

Father Eudes had endeavoured, when in Paris, 
by an ample explanation, to lay the storm ; never 
theless, it Was impossible to shake Mgr. Mole s 
firm conviction that contempt of his jurisdiction 
had been intended, while in reality the good 
father had only availed himself of rights which had 
been in his possession for years. 

Louis XIII. had spoken, the Holy See had 
decided that the seminary had been established in 
accordance with the injunctions of the Council of 
Trent, and did not even stand in need of any 
special authorization, the Bishops of Bayeux and 
Coutances had done all that in them lay to obtain 
for Father Eudes the powers granted by apos 
tolic authority. 

In no case could a mere formal error, or a slight 
want of respect, have accounted for the hostile 
sentiments entertained by the grand-vicar of 
Bayeux, and consequently adopted by the Bishop. 
He distinctly refused to enter into any communi 
cation on the subject with Father Eudes, and at 
once proceeded to the most stringent measures. 
We have no hesitation in ascribing the bishop s 
anger to the terms of the ordonnance of Blois. 
By decree of the Parliament of Rouen,* Father 

* The decree of the Parliament of Eouen, March 23rd, 1650, 
concludes with these words: "With regard to the petitioners 


Eudes bad been legally authorized to perform and 
continue his functions, and tbe Bisbop bad been 
legally exborted to provide for tbe establisbment of 
tbe seminary. 

Fatber Eudes constant submission to tbe 
bisbops was so well known, tbat no one could sup 
pose him likely to compel any one of tbem to come 
to bis assistance. 

Tbe cause of tbe difficulties which beset tbe 
foundation of tbese most important institutions is 
now before ug. 

Is it possible tbat Fatber de Condren s disciple, 
being convinced of tbe will of Q-od, wbicb always 
marks tbe fitting bour, may bave wished, in tbe 
presence of a fresb obstacle, to lay up strength for 
tbe future, to determine bis position, and render 
it impregnable? We cannot decide tbe question. 

In any case, tbe prelate tbougbt proper to con 
vene several persons to bold council witb bim on 
tbis affair. God permitted tbat they should be 
adverse to Fatber Eudes, who was condemned on 
every count. It was then determined tbat Mgr. 
Mole should take every means for the destruction 
of tbe Seminary and of the infant order. These 
results were confidentially communicated to Fatber 
Eudes, who merely exhorted his colleagues to 
patience and submission, whatever steps might be 
taken against him or against them. " Do not 
wonder, my very dear brother," he writes to 
Father Manchon, it is but a passing storm." 
He contented himself with protesting that tbe 

under the name and title of Congregation of the Seminary of 
the said diocese of Bayeux, in the town of Caen, they are to per 
form and continue their functions in accordance with these 
presents and with the edict of Blois ; continuing under the 
jurisdiction of the said Bishop of Bayeux, and of the other 
diocesan Bishops, who are exhorted to provide for the establish- 
ment of seminaries, each one in his own diocese, according to 
the said decree of Blois. 

" Given at Rouen, in the aaid Court of Parliament, the 23rd day 
of March, 1650." 


passive obedience of the fathers did not imply 
an abandonment of their assailed rights, and in par 
ticular of their right to take measures in due time 
and place against the said decision. This was 
done by a protest made on the 10th of December, 
1650, before J. Campion, canon-archdlacon of the 
cathedral, and Apostolic-notary of the diocese of 

The decision of the Bishop s court at Caen 
placed the chapel under an interdict, ordered the 
priests of the pretended congregation to cast down 
and demolish the altar, and forbid them the exer 
cise of their functions in any private house or 
other place within the range of its authority, save 
by permission of the Bishop of Bayeux. 

A punishment of this nature seems to us, at 
this time, an act of persecution. 

The sentence* was passed on the 29th Novem 
ber, 1650, and made known to Father Eudes on 
the 1st of December. His missionaries submitted 
as he had desired them to do ; as for himself, 
calumniated and injured in that which he held 
most dear, in the presence of those who knew him 
well, he was silent Jesus autem tacebat. 

One of his most decided opponents died sud 
denly ; did the others look on this event as a 
warning ? We may assert with confidence that, 
far from thinking ill of him, Father Eudes 
prayed and had prayers offered for him. Before 

* "Seeing," said this document, "that the prohibitions in 
our above sentence, (dated 23rd March, 1650,) were founded on 
the complaint made by the said Promoter, to the effect that the 
said Eudes and hia associates in the said Congregation, lived 
together as a religious community, and publicly performed 
these functions without the permission or consent of the Lord 
Bishop " 

If we observe that the prohibition to exercise their ministry 
bears date the 23rd of March, the same day as the contrary 
decree of the Parliament of Eouen, we shall not wonder that 
such opposing decisions perpetually gave rise to new diffi 



his departure from Paris he was summoned by 
Mgr. Claude Auvry, who had succeeded Mgr. Leon 
de Matignon in the See of Coutances. 

This prelate wished to establish a seminary 
without delay, in his episcopal city, and had se 
lected the holy missionary as the person to take 
charge of it, thus offering an indirect, but mani 
fest protest against the unjust persecution of which 
he was the victim. Mgr. Auvry had formed an 
intimate friendship with Mazarin, at Cardinal 
Barberini s, had returned to France with the fu 
ture prime minister, and been made bishop, first 
of St. Flour, and then of Coutances ; in 1653 the 
king appointed him treasurer of the Sainte Chapelle, 
an important dignity, which conferred great privi 
leges. Boileau has introduced him as one of the 
principal personages in his poem of the Lutrin, 
but has completely misrepresented his character. 
He always preserved a sincere friendship for Father 
Eudes. The life of this holy father presents some 
remarkable contrasts ; one bishop destroys his 
seminary another summons him to open one in 
his diocese, in one place he is forbidden to preach 
or to exercise his priesthood, in another he is 
chosen to recall the populace to their duties, and 
ere long we shall find him proclaiming the Word 
of God to the great ones of the earth. 

The Bishop of Coutances had such confidence 
in Father Eudes that he entrusted him not only 
with the foundation of his seminary, but also with 
the collection of the funds necessary for its erec 
tion and endowment. 

Notwithstanding the critical position in which 
he was placed, he did not shrink from this under 
taking, for he relied on the intervention of the 
Blessed Virgin. She was considered by him, and 
by those who contributed most largely to the erec 
tion of the seminary, as its only founder; and it 
was decided that the front of its church, the first 


ever consecrated to God in honour of the Snored 
Heart of Mary, should bear the inscription: " Fun- 
davit earn Mater Altissimi." 

Mgr. Auvry s letters of institution are dated the 
8th of December, 1650, just eight days after the 
publication of the Caen decree. The burgesses 
and authorities of Coutances met at the president s 
hall to consider the project of the new seminary, 
and gave it their entire consent as far as it bore 
on tbe rights and interests of the city ; neverthe 
less, its early existence was beset by the difficulties 
common in such cases. 

Father de Montaigu, the superior-elect, gave all 
his patrimony to this institution, and Father 
Hymblot, who had also left the Chapter of Autuu 
to join Father Eudes, followed his example, and 
gave 6,000 livres. A similar sum was added by 
two gentlemen, M. de la Boissiere, and M. de 
Mesle. We must not omit the offering of Marie 
Desvallees, who devoted her whole fortune, 1,300 
livres, to the building expenses of the new institu 
tion. We shall have more to say hereafter of the 
life and death of this pious and lowly woman. 

After this business was settled Father Eudes 
thought it time to present a humble petition on 
behalf of the Congregation to Mgr. Mole. He 
hoped that the favourable opinion of the Bishop 
of Coutances might tend to dispel his prejudices. 

The approbation which Mgr. Mole had just 
given to one of his most important foundations, 
the House of our Lady of Charity of the Kefuge at 
Caen, might also have seemed to imply that his 
anger had subsided, were it not that that very 
approbation was accompanied by a heavy cross for 
the founder. 

This house had already passed through many 
vicissitudes. One of its first superiors, under the 
influence of pride and jealousy, had suddenly gone 
away, taking all the moveables with her. Most 


of her companions had followed her example, and 
Mile, de Taillefer, a young person whom the 
others had not ventured to take into their confi 
dence, and Marie Herson, a niece of Father Eudes, 
aged only 12 years, alone were left with the un 
happy women who had heen gathered together 
under their care. 

These circumstances made Father Eudes deter 
mine, in the month of November, 1642, to ask for 
letters patent, authorizing the erection of a reli 
gious community, of the rule of St. Augustine, in 
the city of Caen, for the purpose of offering a 
refuge to fallen women desirous of amending their 
lives. Mgr. d Angennes had patronized the un 
dertaking, and the community had been organized. 
Mother Patin of the Visitation at Caen, became 
superior, and was joined by companions who as 
sisted her admirably. She was afterwards obliged 
to return as superior to the Monastery of the 
Visitation, and the House of Refuge chose in her 
place Sister Taillefer, who had, during the troub 
lous days of the infant community, given proof of 
a prudence and firmness beyond her years. 

Mgr. Mole permitted many difficulties to delay 
bis consideration of Father Eudes petition, but at 
last issued tbe letters of institution on the 8th of 
February, 1651. 

Let us observe that these letters were to serve 
as the model and guide for any future foundations. 
They declare that M. Jean Le Roux, knight, Lord 
of Langrie, King s Counsellor and President of 
the Parliament of Rouen, and Dame Marie Le 
Roux, his wife, are constituted founders, in con 
sideration of the sum of 14,000 livres, 4,000 of 
which come from the Congregation. Father Eudes 
had thought it best to keep himself out of sigbt, 
and put forward as the ostensible founder one so 
high in position that he was not likely to be re 
jected by Mgr. Mole. 


By the letters of institution the monastery was 
placed under the temporary direction of the Ladies 
of the Visitation. Here is another link between 
St. Francis of Sales and Father Eudes. 

" We have given, and do give, permission to 
the said nuns, who shall undertake the direction 
of the penitents, to make the religious vows after 
a probation and noviciate of two years, and having 
attained the ago of twenty years, under the direc 
tion of our dear daughters of the Visitation of our 
Monastery at Caen, or any other religious women 

whom we may approve, etc., etc.r We further 

declare that when there shall be a professed nun 
of the said monastery deemed by us capable, ac 
cording to the Holy Canons, of being its superior, 
the first twelve professed nuns in our pre 
sence or that of our Vicar General may pro 
ceed to elect her as their superior after 

which the said nuns of the Visitation shall return 
to their monastery, unless we should see fit to 
detain them longer, for the benefit, utility and 
advantage of the said community, so that they 
shall not be free to retire from the said monastery 
without our permission."* 

The Community of our Lady of Charity now 
anxiously desired to have Mother Patin back. She 
had resigned the post of superior in her own com 
munity, and had, therefore, no very serious reason 
for declining the charge of her former disciples. 
Nevertheless, she could not make up her mind 
to accept it, until God made His Will known 
to her in a miraculous manner, as we learn 

* The Monastery of the Visitation at Caen was a foundation 
from the first of that order established at Paris. The commu 
nity was transferred on the 16th of November, 1631, to Caen, 
from Dol, where it had been established on the 21st December, 
1627. It was suppressed at the time of the French Revolution, 
and re-established on the 21st November, 1806, but not in the old 
monastery, which is now a barrack. 


from an authentic letter of her own, given in 
the Annals of the Congregation : " One evening, 
after Matins, our mother having come into my 
cell, and found me bathed in tears, said what she 
could to console me, hut without any effect. Hav 
ing, as it seemed to me, passed the night without 
sleep, ahout 3 or 4 o clock in the morning, as I 
was beseeching our Lord to deliver me from my 
misery, and telling Him that 1 could no longer 
live, I saw our Blessed Father, Francis de Sales, 
with two sisters of the Visitation on his left hand, 
in his ordinary habit, with a rochet and a violet 
hood ; he said to me in a gentle voice : Yes, 
you shall have the health of body and mind which 
you desire, not for yourself, but for the service of 
our Lady of Charity," and then disappeared. My 
tranquillity of mind and health of body at once 
returned, and I performed my meditation and 
other exercises with great facility/ 1 

The superior put off the parting from her holy 
companion from day to day, while the latter always 
kept in mind the vision with which God had fa 
voured her. She was soon attacked by a mortal 
sickness, and the physician having told the supe 
rior that he saw no hope of her life, she made a 
vow that if God would restore Mother Patin, she 
would no longer oppose her desire. This vow was 
accepted, and Mother Patin returned to the Mon 
astery pf our Lady of Charity on the 14th of June, 

She was soon joined by excellent subjects, and 
the future order was established on a solid basis. 
Ladies of quality even sent their daughters as 
boarders, that they might receive the instructions 
of the Mother of the Nativity, (Marie Herson,) of 
Sister Mary of the Conception, (Le Lieupaul,) and 
Sister Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, (Pierres,) 
etc. "We must also mention the name of Mile, de 
Soullebien, who, having lost her husband, M. de 


Boisdavid, captain in the French guards, took the 
Labit in this Monastery at Gaen. 

The constantly increasing number of penitents 
made it necessary for Mother Patin to seek a 
larger house than that which President de Langrie 
Lad lent the community in 1649; in 1657 they 
therefore moved to one in the Kue Neuve, which 
they have occupied ever since, having bravely 
weathered the storm of the Revolution. 

We have thought it necessary to give these 
details, because this house has been the fruitful 
germ of so many others. 

When Mgr. Mole gave his approbation to this 
monastery, he deprived Father Eudes of its direc 
tion. This was one of the most cruel mortifications 
God could have permitted him to suffer, but he ac 
cepted it with hia accustomed resignation: "We 
must follow our course," said he, "and always serve 
the house as well as we can, for love of our Lord 
and His Holy Mother." He had not even the 
comfort of witnessing the installation which took 
place on the 8th of June, 1651, in presence of 
Father de Bernet, the vicar-general. 

Father Legrand, parish priest of St. Julian, at 
Caen, directed the community for twenty years 
with great prudence, and to Father Eudes entire 
satisfaction. Providence had, perhaps, removed 
this burden from his shoulders, that he might be 
the better able to extend his order, and to continue 
his numerous and profitable missions. 

The first death amongst his fellow-labourers 
was that of Father Vigeon, on the 16th of March, 
1651 ; he was buried at Notre Dame, as the 
chapel of the Congregation was still under inter 
dict, and even if it had not been, nothing more than 
the mere funeral ceremony could have been per 
formed there. 






Father Encles wag defeated; the altar of his 
beloved chapel was cast down and destroyed ; he 
was living in undeserved disgrace in the very 
scene of his most heroic struggles. He might 
say ; " Inimici autem mei vivent et confirmati 
sunt super me : et multiplicati sunt, qui oderunt 
ine inique." 

Nevertheless, he was a conqueror. God had 
made haste to help him, and had raised him up, 
as He often raises up the humble; for just at 
this time Father Olier invited him to St. Sulpice, 
to second by his eloquence the holy lessons which 
he himself gave with such power to the young 
priests under Ins direction. Was it not likely 


that liis voice would be drowned by the tumults of 
the capital, and the last murmurs of the storm 
which had led to Mazarin s defeat by the princes ? 
Was not the public mind too much taken up by 
the conclusion of the struggle which was to make 
the people poorer, and give the nobility new places 
and fresh dignities?* But the Christian orator 
found his text in the circumstances of the times ; 
he preached patience to some, moderation to 
others, and reminded all that, " Every kingdom 
divided against itself shall be made desolate, and 
every city or house divided against itself shall not 
stand." (Matt. xii. 25.) 

Would that we could have listened to those 
eloquent words, which were so stern against wrong, 
BO commanding, and yet so sweet ; so courageous 
when addressed to worldly greatness, so popular 
when they recalled men to their duty, and to the 
respect they owed to the young king, who, after 
his troubled minority, was soon to concentrate all 
authority in his own person, and treat his minis 
ters as mere messengers for the transmission of 
his orders. 

Cardinal Mnzazin, who had evaded the difficul 
ties which Richelieu had vigorously overcome, was 
to govern France for ten years more, during the 
pupilage of the young king. Time has not yet 
revealed his dispositions and great qualities, but 
the preacher made it his business to draw all 

* Tlie League and the Fronde. "Under the league," as M. 
Cousin says, " two great opinions met in conflict ; therefore, by 
the league minds were developed and characters were tempered ; 
it was a school of politics and of warfare ; it gave strength to 
the vigorous generations of the first half of the XVIIth century* 
The Fronde is an episode in our history, divested of all gran 
deur ; it formed neither warrior nor statesman ; the nation took 
but little part in it, feeling that no great interest was at stake ; 
it was the pastime of noblemen, wits, and fine ladies. The 
Fronde was the particular property of the ladies ; they were at 
once its promoters, its instruments, and the most interested ac 
tors in its affairs." Cousin, (Mdme. de Longueville,) p. 57. 


hearts to him. Is not the chief power of a king 
to be found in the love of his subjects ? 

Many incidents in Father Eudes life show ua 
that he never failed in the duty of Christian 

The mission of St. Sulpice occnpied the Lent 
of 1651; its moral effects were great, and it set 
the seal to Father Eudes still increasing repu 

Father Olier s biographer gives some valuable 
details, which do such honour to the memory of 
our holy missionary, that we cannot refrain from 
transcribing them.* 

" A time of political trouble and its consequent 
disasters had favoured the increase of disorder in 
the parish of St. Sulpice. To say nothing of the 
vagabond life of many priests, who were to be seen 
begging at the church doors, to the great dis 
honour of religion, and who were commanded by 
ecclesiastical authority to return to their dioceses ; 
a yet more alarming and hopeless evil was to be 
found in the licence of manners, in the sinful con 
nections, which were too common, and in the com 
plete neglect of the most sacred duties of religion ; 
many of the parishioners, not even at Easter, ap 
proaching the sacraments. Father Olier had 
done all that his zeal could do, and, seeing that 
many persons remained unmoved alike by his 
tender invitations, and the threatened judgments 
of God, he implored the Prior of St. Germain! to 
proceed against them with all his authority, and, 
accordingly, he issued a proclamation on the llth 
of Jane, 1650 Father Olier then endea 
voured to bring these sinners back to God by a 
means more in accordance with the charity and 

* Vie de M. Olier, fondateur de St. Sulpice, T. ii. p. 50. 
t St. Sulpice depended on the Abbey of St. Germain. The 
prior threatened recalcitrant offenders with all ecclesiastical 
censures and penalties. 


gentleness of bis heart, viz., by a general mission. 
He bad long desired to give bis parisb tbe benefit 
of a means of grace so precious and so well-fitted 
to repair tbe ruins made by sin, and to restore 
fervour. In a letter to Fatber Conderc, one of bis 
priests, be says, " We must reserve ourselves for 
tbe great mission which will take place next year 
in tbe parisb, during tbe jubilee. We sball tben 
need all our labourers, and tbey will be too few 
for a work of sucb importance." Considering 
tbeir number insufficient, be invited bis friend, 
Fatber Eudes, tbe founder of tbe Congregation of 
Eudists, to come and preside. He kuew no one 
better able to preach tbe word of God, and to work 
great conversions, tban tbis extraordinary man, 
wbose labours bad produced sucb abundant fruits, 
and whom be used to call the marvel of bis 

Tbis was Fatber Eudes first mission in Paris. 
He set off with twelve of bis disciples, intending 
to open tbe exercises at St. Sulpice on tbe Feast 
of tbe Purification, but tbe Seine was flooded to 
so unusual a degree that his journey was delayed, 
and Father Olier himself was obliged to take bia 
place. He began bis sermon by saying, "To 
speak to you worthily of Jesus Christ, our true 
Light, I should need the light of tbe great servant 
of God, wbose place I fill. That apostolic mau 
has an extraordinary gift for .converting souls, and 
we feel confident that in the present favourable 
time, of the Jubilee and Lent together, God will, 

* In his manuscript memoirs, Father Olier speaks of Marie 
de Gournay, widow of David Eousseau, who, notwithstanding 
her lowly birth, became the counsellor of the most illustrioua 
people in Paris, and of souls who had made great progress in 
virtue. " Father Elides," he adds, " the great preacher, the 
wonder of his a?e, often came to consult her/ 

In the correspondence bptwejan .the Baron de Kenty and Father 
Olier, which is of an earlier date, as Baron de Eenty died in 
161-9, we find tbe same praise, and the same high estimate of 
Father Eudes eloquence a,ud its results. 


by bis means, show us grace and mercy." Tbe 
mission, wliicb lasted during tbe wbole of Lent, 
bad tbe success wbicb Father Olier desired ; ac 
cording to bis wisbes, Fatber Eudes and big 
twelve companions lived in the presbytery, arid 
thus did double good, for wbile, by their preach 
ing, they sowed tbe seed of the Word of God 
in tbe hearts of tbe faithful, with the most abun 
dant benedictions, by the example of their holy 
lives they gave another and equally successful 
mission to the priests of tbe community." 

The future successor of Father Olier never for 
got it. M. de Bretonvilliers, (A. Le Ragois,) some 
time afterwards gave a sum of a thousand livres 
for tbe erection of the chapel of the seminary at 

Fatber Olier bad long desired to establish a 
Society of Charity for tbe relief of the distressed, 
and especially of many persons who had seen bet 
ter days, and whose necessities were constantly 
increasing. Tbe accomplishment of this purpose 
was one of tbe most lasting and consolatory re 
sults of Father Eudes mission. 

Mdme. Tronson, mother of the superior of St. 
Sulpice, begged him to give a mission at Corbeil; 
be gladly acceded to her wishes, and the mission 
was attended by tbe usual marks of divine favour ; 
it was followed by those of Bernay and Marolles. 
He then went with bis associates to Coutances, 
and in the Advent of 1651 began a mission which 
lasted until the following Lent. 

About this time Mgr. Mole, tbe Bishop of 
Bayeux, died. Fatber Eudes hoped that bis suc 
cessor might be less ready to listen to unworthy 
insinuations, and immediately petitioned for the 
restoration of tbe chapel at Caen, which bad been 
closed by the sentence of the episcopal court. 
Tbe vicar-capitular opposed him, and be therefore 
made a direct application to Father Ste. Croix, 


whom the king had appointed to the see left 
vacant by the death of his brother, Mgr. Mole. 
He at once granted his request, and wrote in the 
strongest terms to Bayeux, but one difficulty 
after another prolonged, until 1653, a state of 
things both unjust and abnormal. 

Father Finel died in 1652. He was possessor 
of the lands of Pondaulne, in the parish of 
Marchesieux, and was also known by their name. 
He was originally in an official position at 
Carentan, and received holy orders very late in 
life. He was buried in the choir of St. Nicholas, 
at Coutances, the seminary chapel being still 

The void left by his death was more than filled 
by the arrival of several new subjects, the most 
remarkable of whom was M. Blouet de Camilly, 
afterwards Father Eudes worthy successor in 
office. We shall soon see the circumstances by 
which he was insensibly drawn to join him. 

While the seminary at Caen was closed, the 
probationers were under the direction of Father 
Montaigu, and afterwards of Father de la Ilaye and 
Father Moisson. 

On the 10th of May, 1653, the day when the 
community of Caen was in the habit of celebrating 
the Feast of the Appearance of Jesus Christ to 
His holy Mother, the Episcopal Court reversed 
the sentence of 1650, and permitted the Eudista 
to resume all their functions, on condition that 
they should always remain under the absolute 
direction, dependauce, and jurisdiction of the 
Bishop of Bayeux, from which they had never 
thought of withdrawing. 

Father Eudes, when writing to his brethren, 
attributed this victory to the prayers of the good 
Sister of Mercy in Paris, Mother Mary of the 
Trinity. Her monastery was situated in the 
Faubourg St. Germain, near the church of St. Sul- 


pice, and was destined to receive persons of quality 
without a dowry. Another nun, Mother Magdalen 
of the Incarnation, Carmelite of the little convent 
in Paris, had also contributed much to the success 

The Paris mission had then borne fruit, and the 
father s joy must have been great. But fresh 
difficulties were to arise ; although Father de Ste. 
Croix, who had declined the bishopric of Bayeux, 
had been replaced by a prelate well fitted to meet 
the wants of the diocese. 

Mgr. Francis Servien, formerly Bishop of 
Carcasonne, translated to Bayeux in 1645, pos 
sessed the qualities which Father Eudes had ven 
tured to mention to the queen as essential in a 
bishop. He was distinguished by his zeal and 
his talents for the direction of a diocese. He con 
sidered the training of young ecclesiastics for 
their high functions a work of the first importance. 
The labours of the Eudists were of a nature to 
attract his special attention ; and, therefore, 
designing persons found means to persuade him 
that they were without learning or knowledge of 
of the world, and, spite of their acknowledged zeal 
and virtues, were more likely to influence ignorant 
rustics, than priests in any degree enlightened. 

The Bishop was, therefore, inclined to give his 
seminary to the Oratorians, and to order the 
newly-opened chapel to be again closed. 

Father Eudes received timely notice of this 
state of things, and went to Paris, where he suc 
ceeded in convincing the Bishop, and opening his 
eyes to the underhand proceedings of his enemies. 
This success was probably due to Father Olier, 
St. Vincent de Paul, and others, who knew how his 
eloquence had won and charmed some of the best 

It is worthy of remark, that every danger which 
threatened the seminary of Caen was followed by 


an increase Of tlie Congregation ; thus, a tree 
which has fallen beneath tlie woodman s axe, often 
sends up shoots which cover the field where it 

Mgr. Leonor de Matignoh had been transferred 
from the didcese of Coutances to that of Lisieux. 
He had already often asked Father Eudes assist 
ance, and invited him to come and give a mission 
in his ne\v episcopal city, immediately after his in 
stallation. Father Eudes went as soon as he 
could to fulfil the wishes of the kind patron who 
had supported him in days of persecution. He 
Lad first to give a mission at Pontoise, which had 
been asked for by Mother Anne of Jesus, a Car 
melite nun, sister of Chancellor Seguier, and aunt 
of Cardinal de Berulle, whose mother had also 
entered the same order, under the name of Sister 
Mary of the Angels. 

Two promised missions in the diocese of Cou 
tances also claimed him before that Lisieux. 

There was a Fdhool at Lisieux, but it had fallen 
into ruin for want of money. 

It was evident that a seminary became daily 
more and more necessary. The chapter and the 
town agreed with the bishop on this subject, and 
Father Eudes brought things to a point by a most 
generous sacrifice. 

Many instances of remarkable disinterestedness 
on his part make the accusations brought against 
him quite inexplicable. On one occasion he re 
fused a considerable donation, because the heirs 
of the donor complained of the diminution of their 
future fortune; he paid a sum which a nun in the 
monastery of Caen claimed from him, although he 
bad never received anything from her; he gave 
the Oratorians a chasuble which had belonged to 
Cardinal de Berulle, and to which they maintained 
they had a right, though it was a present made to 
him by Mgr. de Harluy, Bishop of St. Malo, when 


he was giving a mission in that diocese. At a 
later period, when the seminary at Evreux was 
established, he learned that the Chapter of the 
Cathedral contested a pension which had been 
granted to that institution on the revenues of tho 
clergy of the diocese. He wished to give it up, 
but the bishop forbade him, and his rights were 
maintained. He preferred peace to any possible 
advantage, and always feared that a lawsuit would 
sow hatred and dissension among Christians. 

He immediately sent Father Manchon as supe 
rior of the seminary at Lisieux, and with him men 
fitted to fill different posts in that foundation. 

By the request of the Ursuiines of Lisieux, and 
with the bishop s consent, he undertook the direc 
tion of their house, and this he did the more 
gladly, because in the spiritual relations he had 
already had with these nuns, he had learnt to 
admire their zeal and regularity. 

They had, moreover, supplied the fathers, on 
their arrival, with everything they required, and 
had thus preserved them from many privations.* 

Many pious persons contributed to the estab 
lishment of the school and seminary. The letters 
of institution for the seminary of Lisieux were 
given on the 8th of June, 1655. 

In 1654 St. John the Evangelist was chosen 
patron of the Congregation. In the same year, 
Father Eudes bought, for the sum of 23,000 
livres, an estate situated in the parish of Herouville, 
and belonging to the lord of that place. 

* In a visit which Father Eudes paid to the Convent of the 
Ursuiines at Lisieux, in 1670, as he was conversing- with the 
superior, Mother Benee St. Agnes, on the favours of the Blessed 
Virgin, he fell into a sort of ecstasy, which lasted about a quar 
ter of an hour. She made a formal declaration to this effect in 
1692. Father Eudes admitted to this nun that whenever the 
Mother of God appeared to him, he lost consciousness for some 
time. His humility led him to fear that he had spoken too 
freely, and he begged her not to mention what had passed. She 
obeyed aa long aa he lived. (Anaales.) 


A mission was given at Reville, near Barflcur, 
and the fathers of the Bayeux seminary also la 
boured at St. Etienne de Lailles, Beuzeville, and 
Pont-Audemer. Father de Lethumiere, who had 
in 1650 witnessed the results of the mission of 
Gatheville, induced the Coutances Fathers to give 
another in that town in 1655. He had himself 
established, and amply endowed, a seminary near 
Valognes, which was afterwards suppressed by 
Mgr. de Lomenie, as tainted with Jansenism. 

M. d Ainfreville, a benefactor of the Congrega 
tion, was anxious that his dependants should have 
the blessing of a mission, which he himself also 
meant to attend. Father Eudes therefore went 
to Cisey to open it as soon as his business at 
Lisieux was concluded. 

Immediately afterwards he returned to Caen. 
As his Congregation increased in numbers and in 
reputation, it became necessary to lay down fuller 
rules for its guidance, and this work now claimed 
his uninterrupted attention. He framed the plan 
of his constitutions in the year 1654, but went on 
perfecting them until his death. Distrustful of 
liis own judgment in so important a matter, he 
studied most of the existing constitutions, and in 
many cases merely developed or modified them, 
according to the exigencies of the times. He was 
also guided by his recollections of the lessons of 
those great masters in the science of intellectual 
and Christian life, Cardinal de Berulle and Father 
de Condren. 

The choice of a successor is naturally a subject 
of the greatest anxiety to every founder, for, how 
ever deep may bo his humility, he knows that hia 
successor ought to be a second self, and, doubt 
less, this care often weighed on Father Eudes 

But Providence was preparing one who would 
fulfil all his desires, and who, by his example as 


well as by the influence which he justly exercised 
in the Congregation, would promote the observance 
of all his rules. 

Father Eudes had long enjoyed the esteem and 
affection of M. and of Madame Blouet de Camilly, 
people of distinction in Normandy. 

Madame de Camilly, whose maiden name was 
Anne Le Haguais, had often sustained him in 
his labours, and accordingly, when she was left a 
widow, with three sons and a daughter, he did 
not fail to console her. Her eldest son was gifted 
with all that promised ta make a man distin 
guished, and seemed likely to follow the steps of 
his forefathers, and fill some high military posi 

He was tenderly attached to his sister, but when 
he returned home he no longer found her there. 
She had entered the monastery of the Visitation 
at Caen, and- was only waiting for her mother s 
consent to take the religious vows. Notwithstand 
ing Madame de Camilly s eminent piety, she could 
not make up her mind to this sacrifice. Her 
eldest son, moved by her tears, and himself in 
despair at seeing his sister renounce all his views 
for her happiness, made up his mind to force the 
enclosure of the monastery, and, with the assist 
ance of one of his younger brothers, to carry her 
off. To avoid such a scandal, the nuns induced 
Mile, de Camilly to return to her relations, hoping 
that time, and this token of her submission, would 
calm their excitement. She understood that she 
had a mission to fulfil, and, without neglecting 
any of her practices of piety, she lived with 
her brothers, whose religious sentiments had been 
impaired by their contact with the world, and em 
ployed all a sister s power to win them ; a power 
s.o well described by one of our most amiable 
poets;* "If her brother is younger than her, she 

I* Legouye, 1861, 


is almost a mother to him, hut if he is older, 
she is like his daughter : new virtue animates 
him ; he hecomes pure while he watches over 
her, and she in her turn is a support to him, 
making him love what is beautiful, guiding him 
towards what is good, and urging him on to win 
a place amongst those who are worthy of re 

Mile, de Camilly s constant efforts to overcome 
the opposition of her brother were at length suc 
cessful, and he accompanied her to the gate of the 
enclosure, from which he had intended to carry 
her away by force. But Mile, de Camilly, this 
fair lily-bud as Father Eudes called her, only 
entered it to die, at the age of 23, to the sorrow of 
the community, whom she had edified by her 

Her brother was overpowered with grief. God 
was calling him to come to Him by the same 
rough and thorny way which his sister had chosen, 
and he promptly obeyed, giving up the world, with 
all its charms and honours. 

The joy which filled Father Eudes heart when 
young de Camilly told him of his resolution, did 
not make him forget the prudence necessary in 
dealing with so ardent a soul. He sent him to 
Coutances, and after a strict probation the neo 
phyte was admitted into the Congregation on the 
8th of February, 1655.* 

Father Eudes saw his foundations flourishing ; 
the numerous subjects who flocked to them made 
him think of sending out swarms from these over 
crowded hives, to establish new colonies ; he was 
obliged, however, to proceed step by step, for his 
detractors were ever on the watch for any act of 

* His second brother also entered the Congregation, and sub 
sequently became Canon and theological lecturer of the Chapter 
at Bayeux. The third was Counsellor in Parliament. Mile, de 
Caujilly had taken the name of Anne Jesus in religion. 


imprudence. The affair of Marie Desvallees fur 
nished them with a pretext for animadversions, 
though, it is no more true that he wrote the life 
attributed to him, than that he instituted a Feast 
in her honour. 

In 1641, during the Mission at Coutances, he 
had heen her director, and had been convinced 
that her state was an extraordinary one ; the most 
enlightened ecclesiastics of Rouen and Coutauces 
entertained the same opinion. She died a very 
holy death on the 25th of February, 1656, and 
must evidently have heen regarded as a person of 
eminent sanctity, for the Canons of the Cathedral, 
and the priest of the parish where she died, were 
alike anxious to obtain possession of her remains ; 
they were buried quietly by the latter in his 

The body remained there until the 4th of De 
cember following, when, in virtue of a decree of 
the Parliament of Rouen, President de Langrie 
caused it to be exhumed and transported to the 
seminary. It was found to be perfectly free from 
corruption, and a very sweet odour exhaled from 

Soon afterwards the dispute regarding the place 
of burial was revived ; attacks were made on the 
memory of Marie Desvallees, and consequently on 
Father Eudes. These unfounded and unworthy 
annoyances lasted until 1658, when the bishop, 
wearied by their continuation, took the affair into 
his own hands, and caused it to be investigated by 
an assembly composed of three doctors of the Sor- 
bonne and three Jesuit Fathers. He invited the 
members of his episcopal court, formerly antagon 
istic to Father Eudes, to be present, as well as 
Fathers de Montaigu and Blouet de Carnilly, the 
latter of whom had arranged the materials for this 
singular trial. The doctors were Father Morel, 
Father Cornet, (whose funeral oration was after- 


wards pronounced by Bossuet,) and Father Seguier, 
theological lecturer in Paris. All things having 
been scrupulously examined, the Bishop paid hon 
our to Marie Desvallees memory in the strongest 
terms. " I feel obliged to say what I now say, * 
added the Bishop, " and God is my witness that 
I speak from no particular affection for this per 
son, for Father Eudes, or for the missionaries, 
but simply from a sense of justice." 

Ten days later, on the 14th of September, the 
prelate published his judgment; the sentence wag 
as clear as possible, and two copies of it were sent 
to Father Elides. 

We have given these unimportant details be 
cause the subject has been often revived, as is 
not unusual, when enemies are at a loss to shew 
cause for their attacks. Twenty years after the 
death of Father Eudes, whose holy life had given 
no pretext for malice to fasten on, a Jansenist 
author dared to say that he had "seen and read 
all the folios written by Father Eudes own hand, 
regarding his pretended saint, Marie Desvallees.* 

Successful missions at Lingevre and Lethan- 
ville, in 1656, and 1657, gained the complete con 
fidence of the Bishop of Bayeux for the Eudists; 
he authorized them, as Mgr. d Angennes had for 
merly done, to preach in all parts of his diocese. 
It was decided, notwithstanding the proceedings 
of their enemies, that the seminary for candi 
dates for orders, and for the retreat of ecclesias 
tics who might wish to follow the spiritual exer- 

* In 1674, the priest of Aulnay, Father Dufour, a well-known 
Jansenist, published a libel, in which he accused Father Eudes 
of thirteen heresies. The venerable founder had been, like St. 
Bernard, deceived by a young secretary, whom Father Dufour 
bribed, by a promise of a benefice, to give up the notes written 
by his superior on Maria Desvallees case. These notes had 
not been collected with a view to writing her life, but merely for 
the guidance of his priests in such matters. 

Father Launay, by request of Father du Val -Richer, answered 
this libel. Father Eudes thought silence his best defence. (Ac 
count of Brother Eichard, Father Eudes faithful servant.) 


cises, should be re-established in Father Elides* 
house at Caen. 

In order to give it all possible stability, Mgr. 
Servien thought it well to obtain new letters pa 
tent, which were granted in the month of Decem 
ber, 1657. His letters of institution were regis 
tered on the 9th of November ; they contained 
some clauses difficult to be observed, which were 
afterwards modified by his successor. 

As a reparation for the past, he wished that all 
possible splendour should attend the re-opening of 
the seminary. The parish priests were ordered to 
give notice of it beforehand in their Sunday ser 
mons, and to explain to their congregations the 
advantages which the institution would confer, not 
only on priests, but on the younger clergy. The 
ceremony took place in the very chapel which had 
been closed in Mgr. Mole s time ; solemn Mass 
was sung, the whole town took part in the rejoic 
ings, and one of the Vicars General was appointed 
to do the honours. 

Father Eudes was at this time almost alone, 
most of his comrades being engaged in a mission 
at Houfleur. When he imparted these good tid 
ings to them, he did not fail to warn them against 
any feeling of pride in the preference shewn by 
Mgr. Servien to them, above another congregation 
to which he was much attached, and from which 
he had received many good offices. 

The Oratory had spared no efforts to carry the 

On the 15th of November, 1657, Father Eudes 
gave the following rule of conduct, in a letter to 
the directors of the school at Lisieux. " Avoid 
the reproach, " thou therefore that teachest 
another, teachest not thyself;" imitate the Sa 
viour, who began to do and to teach ; let these 
words be fulfilled in you, "he that shall do and 
teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of 


heaven." He concludes his important advice in 
the words of St. Paul, "whatsoever things are 
true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, what- 
sover lovely, whatsoever of good fame... think on 
these things... and the God of peace shall be with 
you;" his modesty did not permit him to add, 
" the things which you have both learned, and 
received, and heard, and seen in me, these do 

Alas ! would that all who direct our youth could 
say, as this holy priest might certainly have 
done, " the things which you have both learned, 
and received, and heard, and seen in me, these do 
ye." His government was remarkable for its gen 
tleness, he devoted himself to his brethren, he did 
not claim anything by authority ; " I write, not aa 
your superior, but as your brother." His charity 
was so tender and compassionate that he used to 
make all possible concessions ; it was manifested 
most particularly with regard to the sick ; " Let 
everything be sold," he would say, " rather than 
that they should want and suffer." He made it a 
point that the exercises of the community should 
be finished before those of simple devotion were 
begun. If he felt angry at some infraction of 
rule, he did not reprove the delinquent until after 
he had regained his habitual serenity. Finally, 
he exhibited unequalled prudence in his dealings 
with the superiors of the different houses. 

Let us glance for a moment at Mezeray. The 
contrast between these two lives tends to make 
each appear remarkable. A sort of family likeness 
may be traced in the minds as well as in the 
countenances of the three brothers : " Non facies 
una, nee diversa tamen, qualem decet esse fra- 

In 1649, on the death of Vaugelas, the Academy 

* St. Paul to the Philippians, iv. 8. 


chose Mezeray, already celebrated by his great 
work on the National History, to prepare for its 
discussions the materials of the dictionary which 
Las done so much to elevate the French language. 

The meetings of the Academy were held at that 
time in the Hotel Seguier, afterwards known as 
the Hotel des Fermes, 55, Rue de Grrenelle, St. 
Honore, and 24, Eue du Bouloi. It was built by 
the Chancellor Pierre Seguier, from a plan of 
Androuet du Cerceau,. the celebrated architect of 
the XVIth century, who, having been engaged by 
Henry IV. to complete the Louvre, was obliged, 
on account of his attachment to Protestantism, 
to leave France while his task was yet unfin 

For thirty years the Academy met in this hotel. 

Here the visit of Queen Christina of Sweden 
was received. After she had listened with atten 
tion to some compositions in prose and verse, she 
expressed a wish to have an idea of the great Dic 
tionary then in progress. Mezeray proceeded at 
once to satisfy her desire, and it so happened that 
be took up the portion of the manuscript in which 
the word Game occurred ; among the proverbial 
expressions adduced to illustrate its meaning was 
the following : " Princes games please none but 
the players." No one present could refrain from 
a smile, as these words were pronounced by Meze 
ray, and it was seen to play for a moment, accom 
panied by a look of constraint and a sudden blush, 
on the cruel lips which had a few months before 
pronounced Monaldeschi s death-warrant. 

"This striking anecdote," says M. Patin, "more 
authentic than many that have been handed down, 
brings before us the thing represented as far as 
art can represent it, in the principal figure and 
the allegorical accessories of the monument which 
we are inaugurating ; the moral physiognomy of 
Mezeray ; the love of truth, the uprightness, the 


sincerity, the freedom of thought and expression ; 
distinctive and prominent characteristics, which, 
not always, it may be, kept within due hounds, set 
their stamp on his manners, his genius, and hi3 
works. This monument shews us that such were, 
if we may so speak, the features of his race and 
family. Mezeray had them from his father, the 
loyal servant of Henry IV. ; he shared them as an 
undivided inheritance with the pious and eloquent 
missionary, the indefatigable apostolic labourer, 
who has sanctified the name of Eudes ; and with 
the upright and courageous magistrate who gained 
honour for that same name by his bold assertion 
of municipal liberties."* 

We could not but transcribe this portion of the 
speech of one of Mezeray s successors in the 
French Academy, M. Patin, the present director 
of that illustrious assembly, who has already, in 
the presence of all Normandy, bestowed the name 
of Saint on Father Eudes. May those who have 
to judge the cause do the same. 

* Mezeray bore no malice against the Congregation of the 
Oratory. He was, as M. Patin has said, upright and sincere. 
In 1674, the illustrious Oratorian Malebranche printed his 
book on the Search after Truth. Father Pirot, doctor and pro 
fessor of the Sorbonne, considered it tainted with Cartesian 
errors, and refused his approbation. Father d Aligre, son of 
the keeper of the seals, and a friend of the author, caused it to 
be examined by the historian Mezeray, and the approbation was 
granted gratis. The Assembly of the Oratory which met in 
1675, passed a resolution thanking Father Malebranche for the 
honour which his book brought to the Congregation. (L Oratoire 
de France du XVTIieme au XlXieme siecle.) 

At this very time many members of the Oratory were perse 
cuting Father Eudes with great vigour. 





After martyrdom comes triumph; not a triumph 
leadiog to indolent repose, but one ever ready for 
fresh comhats. 

This is the case in religious foundations ; hut, 
especially at the time of which we are speaking, 
the persecutions which beset them were often 
raised by men who themselves bore the priestly 
cnaracter, and even by those whose intentions 
were good, and who were therefore all the harder 
to convince. 

Father Endes and his adherents were con 
sidered mere Utopians ; and as the needs of the 
age often required speedy and active measures, 
eelf-love was in some cases wounded, and long 
established customs were attacked by them. Irri- 


taiion arose, and before the evil could be arrested 
it Lad gained strength ; for it was impossible in 
those days to be in time to know the means of 
attack, and the motives of false judgments ; years 
passed away before decisions were given, and if, 
unfortunately, they were adverse to a foundation, 
there was nothing to be done but to wait in all 
humility, and to draw new energy from the senti 
ments of faith which never forsake the true ser 
vants of God. 

When we see the venerable Father Eudes beset 
by so many cruel misunderstandings, bowed down, 
calumniated, misjudged, and, nevertheless, keep 
ing his eye ever fixed on heaven, we feel for him 
that deep and sincere admiration which real great 
ness alone calls forth. He seems to rule his ene 
mies from the cross, which is the first step to the 
throne of the Eternal. 

Our readers will have observed that this work is 
divided into three parts. 

In the first book we have given Father Eudes 
history from his birth in 1601, until he left the 
Oratory in 1643 ; in the second we speak of him 
as a founder, during the years between 1643 and 
1657 ; in the third we shall have to narrate the 
progress of his Congregation, his seminaries and 
other establishments, until his death in 1630. 

Mgr. Harlay, the Archbishop of Rouen, deter 
mined to offer Father Eudes the means of found 
ing a house in the very capital of Normandy, In 
mentioning this intention to him, he recom 
mended him not to speak of it, as he well knew 
what opposition was likely to arise. 

Jansenism was gaining ground, " that disloyal 
heresy," as Father Lacordaire calls it, " which 
never dared to attack the Church openly, but hid 
itself in her bosom like a serpent." It was well 
known, that, when once the Church had spoken, 
Father Eudes would never admit the possibility of 


a compromise, or to use Father de Condren s 
words, of disobedience " to the Church of the 
present day, in which we live, which baptized us, 
which teaches us, which leads us ;" and therefore 
these new sectaries looked on him as a constant 
adversary. He let every one know that he and 
his colleagues were as far removed from Jansenism 
as heaven is from hell. 

The celebrated Rohrbacher speaks of Father 
Eudes as one of the best priests of the Oratory, 
and attributes his departure from that Congrega 
tion to the " Janseuist spirit which had invaded 
it ;" and he bears witness that the Society of 
Jesus and Mary, " faithfully kept the spirit of its 
pious founder until the French Revolution."* 

St. Sirnon speaks of Mgr. Harlay s skill in 
selection and talents for the direction of his 
diocese. This prelate was well aware that every 
effort would be made to thwart a project which he 
considered most important for the future of his 
clergy. Father Dufour, Priest of Aulnay, and a 
Jansenist, had, by deceiving Father de Barbery, a 
Cistercian and Superior of the Ursulines of Caen, 
succeeded in gaining permission to celebrate Mass 
in the church of the nnns, and was now en 
deavouring to introduce his new ideas amongst 
them, but they were more alive to his schemes than 
he had supposed, and therefore carefully removed 
everything requisite for the Holy Sacrifice, just as 
he came forth vested for Mass. He was obliged 
to send into the town for what he needed. This 
affair made much noise at Caen, and especially 
among the Jansenists ; it was brought before the 
judge, and he pronounced a decision requiring the 
Chaplain and the Sister Sacristan of the Mon 
astery to appear before him. The king himself 
wished to take cognizance of the case, and Father 

* Histoire universelle de 1 Eglise Catholique, 1. 88. 


Dufonr, foreseeing serious results, declared " that 
he had never shared the sentiments of those per 
sons called Janseuists." Father Eudes was a 
friend of M. de Bernieres, who occupied an apart 
ment in the court of the Ursuline Monastery, and 
Father Dufour therefore feared that his disgrace had 
come to his ears. Under this impression, he lost no 
time in allying himself with the adversaries of the 
the holy priest, and endeavoured to impede his 
designs when he heard that a new Seminary at 
Rouen was in contemplation. 

A proposal was made to Mgr. Harlay, that the 
direction of the Seminary should he entrusted to 
the priests of the parish of St. Patrick, formed 
into a community. 

Seeing that the prelate s intentions remained 
unaltered, the Chapter presented a memoriul con 
taining all the former accusations against Father 

Father Eudes answer hore only on the alleged 
material impossibility of supporting his Semi 
naries, whose downfall, it was said, would be dis 
advantageous to the Archbishop and his Chapter ; 
as to that which concerned himself, as a man, as a 
priest, or as formerly an Oratorian, he was silent : 
" Jesus autem tacebat." Mgr. Harlay cut short 
all further opposition, hy the publication of his 
letters of institution, on the 30th of March, 1658. 
The next month he obtained letters patent, which 
were registered in Parliament on the 14th of 
January following, and on the 15th of February, 
1659, the Octave of the Feast of the Sacred Heart 
of Mary, the Seminary was opened with a solemn 
Mass. Father Eudes appointed Father Manchon 
its superior, and placed under him five of the 
best subjects in the Congregation. He himself 
directed the first retreat, as well as the con 
ferences given for those about to be ordained. 
His care could not guard them against many pri- 


vations ; all, however, preferred to suffer, rather 
than to claim the assistance to which they had a 
right, according to the prescriptions of the Council 
of Trent, confirmed by different decrees which we 
Lave cited. 

The Eudists triumphed while they suffered in 
patience, supported hy the Eight Hand that never 
fails. They knew that God places in every crown 
Borne of the thorns that pierced the Brow of His 
Divine Son. 

The Jansenists, though for the present they 
remained hidden, were ever on the watch. In 
1650, Mgr. de Harlay had made a proclamation, 
threatening with all the severity of the law any 
one who should put forward or defend Jansenisfc 

Father Eudes recommended his hrethren to use , 
the greatest moderation, and to abstain from all 
intercourse with the professors of these errors. 
He thought it useless to speak in public of a 
heresy of which the people were almost entirely 
ignorant, fearing that their curiosity might be 
excited by the mention of it; and this fear was 
not unfounded, for many years afterwards Mas,- 
sillon wrote, " I believe that one of the greatest 
wounds that Jansenism has inflicted on the 
Church, is, putting the highest and most incom 
prehensible mysteries of religion into the mouths 
of women and lay people, and making them a sub 
ject of ordinary^conversation and discussion. This 
has promoted the spread of irreligion ; in the case 
ot the laity, there is but a step from discussion 
to doubt, and another from doubt to unbelief." 

Father Eudes counsels bore fruit, but if exter 
nal peace seemed to be restored, discord broke out 
in an alarming manner in the very bosom of his 
Congregation. His great wisdom, and the venera 
tion which his colleagues felt for him, enabled 
Lim from the first to master it. 


Considering the seminary of Rouen, on account 
of its position in the archiepiscopal city, suited 
to hold the first place among his institutions, 
Father Eudes had transferred Father Manchon, 
the priest of his Congregation in whom he placed 
most confidence, from the direction of the house 
at Lisieux to that of the new foundation. 

The sorrow of his disciples at Lisieux degen 
erated into open revolt, but it soon yielded to the 
rebukes of Father Eudes, whose severity was 
tempered by a tenderness manifest in every line 
of his admonition. Full of contrition, they ac 
knowledged their error, and promised entire 
submission for the future. Nothing disturbed the 
unity of the Congregation after this incident, 
which gave the superior an opportunity of taking 
the reins more firmly in hand. 

For some time Father Eudes had been looking 
for a site in the town of Caen, where be rnigbt, 
with the help of God, build a house suitable to tbe 
greatness of his work there. For fifteen years the 
community had been established in an abode too 
small for them, situated between the Rue St. 
Laurent, and the little river Odon. In front lay 
a waste place, with buildings on three sides, tbe 
present Place Royale of Caen. Father Eudes 
cast his eyes on this plot of ground, but before be 
could obtain it, the self-interest of many people 
had to be overcome, others had to be induced to 
co-operate, and it was necessary to do everything 
skilfully and secretly, for fear of attracting tbe 
jitteution of his enemies, who looked with little 
favour on the growth of a plant which they had 
endeavoured to crush in its ger^n. 

Mgr. Servien took a personal interest in this, 
project, and Father Eudes had also the support of. 
the Duke de Longueville, who had already granted 
him, from his forest of Briquebec, a considerable 
portion of the wood required for the construction. 


of the church and seminary of Coutances. M. de la 
Croisette, governor of the town and castle of Caen, 
gave his assistance, and Father Eudes became 
possessor of the ground, on condition that it 
should he used for no other purpose than the one 
specified; that the building should be begun 
within the next six years, and that a rent of 369 
livres 15 sols, should be paid in perpetuity to the 
town, unless this rent were redeemed. 

The conditions were onerous, but all things are 
easy to God, and, trusting in His assistance, 
Father Eudes accepted them, and he was not dis 
appointed, for in 1662, a person in Paris, who 
concealed his name, sent him first 10,000 livres, 
and soon afterwards 4,000 more, part of which 
served to pay his debt to the town, and the rest to 
begin the buildings. Father Eudes knew by ex 
perience that the first stone attracts others, and 
that the intentions of benefactors are more 
likely to be carried out when they see a definite 
prospect of the speedy employment of their gifts. 

He contented himself with a very simple plan 
frr his church, hoping that the means necessary 
to carry it into execution would, by and by, be 
forthcoming. In the meantime he was anxious to 
institute a Feast in honour of the Sacred Heart of 
the Mother of God. Mgr. Servien gave his appro 
bation on the 17th January, 1659, and the 8th of 
February was fixed as the day. It was solemnly 
kept in the old Chapel of Caen, which had under 
gone so many vicissitudes. This Feast, and that 
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, are the principal 
solemnities of the Order, which is under their 

Mgr. Servien died a few days after he had given 
Father Eudes this last proof of esteem. He was 
succeeded by Mgr. de Nesmond, who closed his 
long and holy career in 1715, having been a bishop 


54 years.* This prelate was not nominated until 
1661 ; two years therefore elapsed between his 
predecessor s death and his entry into the diocese. 
During this interregnum affairs were managed 
by the vicars-general, but the time was not favour 
able for the conclusion of Father Eudes arrange 
ments, and as the ordinary exercises of the Semi 
nary at Caen were necessarily suspended, he em 
ployed himself in giving missions in the diocese 
of Coutauces. 

The first took place at Vasterville, in June and 
July, 1659. Its effects were glorious, for even 
Father Eudes, accustomed as he was to these 
things, could not help exclaiming, " ! what a 
benefit missions are ! How necessary they are ! 
What an evil deed it is to oppose them ! If only 
those who have prevented our giving several iu 
this diocese knew the harm they have done ! My 
God ! forgive them, for they knew not what they 
were doing !" 

The little town of Villedieu .soon shared the 
same blessing ; it was a commandery of the Order 
of Malta, held at that time by Father de Caillemer, 
of the Order of Jerusalem, Doctor of Theology of 
the Roman College. That no rights might be 
infringed, Father-Eudes wrote to him about this 
mission, and on the 15th of September he issued 
a proclamation authorizing it. Father Eudes 
afterwards went to Rouen to prepare some young 
ecclesiastics in his seminary for priests orders. 

He here heard of an affair, for which his oppo- 

*. Mgr. de Nesmond considered the annual visitation of hia 
diocese as one of the most imperative duties of his office. To 
another prelate who asked for tidings of him, he invariably 
answered : " I am making my pastoral visitations ;" thus giving 
a charitable lesson not always appreciated. His brother was 
President Theodore de Nesmond, the Frondeur who had the 
courage to head a deputation from the Parliament to the King 
at Compiegne, requesting that Mazarin might be dismissed. In 
1660 his nephew married Mile, de Miramion, whose mother was 
well known by her piety and good works, 


nents would fain have made him appear responsi 
ble. As he never gave any ground for accusations, 
it became necessary to attribute to him acts in 
which he had had no part. He was thus unable 
to prepare himself beforehand, or to obviate the 
harm which might result ; like Jeremy, he might 
have said : " Et nou cognovi, quia cogitaverunt 
super me consilia." 

In 1624, Jourdaine de Bernieres had founded 
the Ursuline Monastery at Caen, and brought the 
first three nuns from Paris. Her brother, M. de 
Bernieres, Father Eudes faithful and constant 
friend, retired to a house which was situated in 
the court of this monastery, and came to be called 
the Hermitage. 

" The little house of the Hermitage," says Mgr. 
Huet,* " became celehrated on account of the emi 
nent piety of Jean de Bernieres, brother of the 
foundress, who, forsaking the world, chose it as 
his retreat and that of several holy persons whom 
he had drawn round him, and who, after they had 
there made great progress in virtue, dispersed to 
many places, and were the means of great good." 

M. de Bernieres died on the third of May, 1659. 
His companions had .lost their leader, and although 
they placed themselves under the direction of 
Father Guillebert of the parish of St. Ouen, where 
they had taken a house, they soon proceeded to 
acts of such religious eccentricity that the civil 
authority interfered.t 

As Father Eudes was known to have been the 

* Huet, the learned Bishop of Avranches, published, during 
his Betreat at the house of the Professed Jesuits, in Paris, his 
l \0rif]ines de Caen;" a work of far greater erudition than its 
title would seem to imply, and which must have been to him a 
remembrance of his travels among the Scandinavian nations. 

f They went through the streets of Caen like inspired per 
sons, praying God to save the town from the hands of the Jan- 

(For further details, see the Life of Mgr. de Laval, first Bishop 
of Quebec, who had himself belonged to this body.) 


friend of M. de Bernieres, and bad often visited 
him at the Hermitage, be was accused of baviug 
called fortb tins public exbibition of feeling against 
tbe Jansenists. Tbe fact was, thafe be bad, on 
tbis occasion, acted witb bis usual prudence, and 
bad approved tbe conduct of Father Dupont, in 
refusing to open tbe door of tbe seminary at Cou- 
tauces to several of tbis baud. He lost no time 
in directing all tbe superiors to take tbe samo 

We bave already observed tbat eacb fresb attack 
of calumny was followed by some special mark of 
confidence sbown to Fatber Eudes. 

Tbe opposition at Eouen, and tbe endeavour 
made to compromise bim witb tbe civil autbority 
at Caen, were soon followed by an urgent invita 
tion to give a mission in Paris at tbe bospital of 
tbe Quinze-Vingts* founded by St. Louis. 

Tbis mission was opened on tbe Vigil of tbe 
Ascension, 1660, and lasted seven weeks. At its 
conclusion, twelve bisbops were present in the 
cburcb, and during tbe last four weeks, as it was 
too small to contain tbe audience, Fatber Eudes 
and bis brethren were obliged to preacb out of 
doors. To tbe immense effects of tbis mission 
St. Vincent de Paul thus bears witness : " Father 
Eudes, with some priests, whom be has brought 
from Normandy, bas been giving a mission at 
Paris, which bas made much noise, and borne 
much fruit. Tbe crowds bave been so great, that 
the court of tbe Quinze-Vingts could not bold 

them We bave no share in these good things, 

for the poor people of tbe country are our portion ; 
\ve bave only tbe consolation of seeing that our 
small efforts bave aroused tbe emulation of many 

* Fifteen score. A hospital founded by St. Louis for 300 poor 
blind people, about the year 1260. 


good men, who carry on the work with far more 
grace than we do."* 

It will he remembered that the special object 
of St. Viucerit de Paul s missions was to evange 
lise tbe country districts. 

In the same spirit Father Bourdaloue answered 
one of his brethren, who asked him his opinion of 
Massillou, as he came down from his pulpit : 
"Hunc oportet crescere, me autem minui."t 

At the conclusion of the mission, the queen- 
mother expressed her desire that Father Eudea 
should undertake tbe spiritual direction of tbe 
hospital of. tbe Qitinze-Vingts, and establish a 
certain number of his colleagues there. Mgr. 
Auvry, formerly Bishop of Coutances, was at this 
time treasurer of the Sainte Cbapelle;J and in 
his capacity of Grand- Yicar of Cardinal Mazarin, 
High Almoner of France, also superior of tbe 
hospital. He already knew and venerated Father 
Eudes, and lost no time in preparing the first 
clauses of. a contract by which tbe Eudists would 
have been settled at the Quinze-Vingts. How it 
came to pass, that notwithstanding the expressed 
desire of Anne of Austria, Father Eudes enemies 
were able, not only to hinder the execution of a 
plan which would have given his Congregation so 
advantageous a footing in the capital, but, at the 
game time, themselves to gain possession of 
Mount Valerian, is a thing which we are unable 
to explain. 

* Esprit de St. Vincent de Paul, chap. 20. 

t Massillou, an Oratorian, Bishop of Clermont. (L Oratoire 
de France.) 

J This was the Palace Chapel; the present building dates 
from 1240, and is due to St. Louis. 

Mount Valerian, a hill in the department of the Seine, above 
Suresne, near the left bank of the river, was, frem time imme 
morial, a place of pilgrimage. It is said to have been sanctified 
by the presence of St. Genevieve, and was long the abode of 
anchorites, who, about the middle of the XVIItb. century, \vere 


Tn 1610, Father Hubert Charpentier, of Coulom- 
rniers, had formed a society of priests to receive 
tlie pilgrims who came every year to Mount 
Valerian to honour the mysteries of Jesus Christ. 

These priests needed a firm and continued 
direction ; after many combinations had been 
tried, and a rich person had offered an endowment 
of 2,000,000 francs, yearly, the Queen-mother her 
self proposed to Father Elides that he should 
undertake the direction of this work. But, 
although the Queen s good intentions were frus 
trated by the schemes of his opponents, it must 
not be forgotten that a great number of restitu 
tions were njade, many bad books were burned, 
many heretics were converted, and many sinners 
brought back from their evil life by the power of 
the missionaries, whose efforts God so constantly 

In the early days of St. Sulpice, Cardinal de 
Richelieu had openly expressed his high venera 
tion and esteem for Father Olier and his compan 
ions. These sentiments were shared by the whole 
court, and many young ecclesiastics of distin 
guished families joined them, that they might 
learn the practice of apostolic virtues. We find 
the names of de Pardaillan, de Gondrin, de 
Thubieres de Quaylns, amongst those of the semi 
narists first received at Vangirard. M. Eaguier 
de Pousse soon followed their example, and ulti 
mately became parish priest of St. Sulpice. 

The labours of Father Eudes and his twelve 
companions had left deep traces in this parish, and 

gathered into a community. In 1640, Hubert Charpentier, a 
priest of Paris, founded a Calvary there, with representations of 
the different circumstances of the Passion ; twelve priests were 
connected with it. The Calvary was demolished at the time of 
the Revolution, but restored under Louis XVIII. ; it was a<raiu 
abandoned in 1830. In 1841 important fortifications were 
erected, and Mount Valerian is now one of the strong places 
which surround Paris. 


Father Pousse begged that a second mission might 
be given to his flock in the celebrated abbey of St. 

The Qneen and the French court crowded round 
the pulpit where the poor son of Normandy, now 
a distinguished orator, was about to preach. 

In presence of an audience so different from 
those which he usually addressed, and so little 
accustomed to hear the truth, the holy priest 
retained his self-possession, and, at the conclusion 
of the mission, which the Queen had followed 
with the most edifying piety, he ventured to recall 
to her mind in public the memorial which he had 
addressed to her some years before. He conjured 
her to lay to heart the eternal welfare of her son, 
and constantly to keep before him the maxima 
best fitted to promote the growth of national and 
religious sentiments in France. 

The Queen was not offended by the holy mis 
sionary s words, and, with all her court, followed 
the procession of five hundred priests which went 
through the streets to a magnificent Reposoir* 
erected at the seminary of St. Sulpice. M. 
Levavasseur tells us that Father Eudes, with 
the Blessed Sacrament in his hands, ready to give 
solemn Benediction, addressed the nobles who 
surrounded him. Louis XIV. had just made his 
entry into Paris, after his marriage with Marie- 
Theresa f of Austria. Father Eudes congratulated 
his hearers warmly on their love for their king, 
and commended the acclamations and shouts of 
joy which had greeted his entrance, concluding by 
these words : " You all who know so well how to 
shout, Long live the King / before your earthly 

* A resting-place for the Blessed Sacrament. 

t Marie Theresa of Austria, daughter of Philip TV., Kin? of 
Spain, was married to Louis XIV. in 1660, and died in 1683. 
She was distinguished by her gentleness and piety, and bore her 
husband s many infidelities without murmuring. 


monarch, will you not pay the same homage to 
the King of Heaven, by crying out with me, 
* Live Jesus ! " And now it was not, as it had heen 
twenty years ago, a cry of mercy that the mis 
sionary elicited from the poor, hut a cry of en 
thusiasm and love from the mighty of the earth. 
The queen burst into tears, the cry of "Live 
Jesus !" broke from her lips, and was often re 
peated by the courtiers and the people. 

Anne of Austria promised her constant protec 
tion to Father Eudes and his missionaries. The 
boly founder endeavoured hereafter to turn it to 
account in obtaining an authentic approbation for 
his new Congregation, and the erection of the 
Community of the Daughters of our Lady of 
Charity of the Refuge into a religious order, a 
preliminary step necessary before solemn vows 
could lawfully be taken. 





The holy founder bad already, as we Lave 
related in the preceding chapter, taken prelimi 
nary measures at the court of Rome, and, under 
the protection of the king and queen, with the 
French ambassador ready to forward bis claims, 
be migbt have confidently expected the success 
of the two affairs he deemed so important, were 
it not that those whom be called bis former 
friends, bad said, " Circumveniamus justum, quo- 
mam inutilis est nobis, et contrarius est operibua 

We must remember that all be bad hitherto 
obtained from Rome was the simple approbation 


of a seminary established in conformity with the 
prescriptions of the Council of Trent; the Con 
gregation of the Eudists did not, therefore, yet 
rank as a religious order. 

Some years had passed since Father Mannonry 
had treated with the prelates of the Court o*f 
Rome, who had shown great esteem for him, hut 
those two journeys had injured his health, and his 
presence was most necessary to the Seminary of 

At Paris Father Eudes had met a Flemish 
priest named Boniface, who was very ardent in 
everything he undertook, too active, perhaps, hut 
bore an excellent reputation. He had entered 
the Congregation of the Oratory when quite 
young, had left it early to take the parish of 
Douay, and, having resigned this henefice, spent 
some years in Rome, where he formed many valu 
able friends. 

After his return to Paris, he diligently followed 
Father Eudes missions, and, the latter having 
often met him, and knowing him to be conversant 
with affairs in Rome, spoke to him of his projects. 
Father Boniface seemed certain that if the con 
duct of the business in question were entrusted to 
him, he could soon bring it to a happy conclu 

Father Ernies, who had been much perplexed 
by the choice of an envoy, was struck by his con 
fidence, and proposed to him that he should un 
dertake a mission to Rome in his name, and at 
the cost of the Congregation ; the proposal was 
engerly accepted, and Father Boniface received 
Father Eudes instructions. He was, in the first 
place, to solicit the erection of an order of women, 
who, in addition to the three ordinary religious 
vows, should take a fourth, of labouring for the 
Balvation of women who had gone astray; with 
regard to the second matter, he was to begin by 


requesting the continuance of the apostolic powera 
granted to the Congregation, and then to en 
deavour to keep alive any kindly feeling towards 
it which he might find existing at the Court of 
Rome ; Father Eudes had other means in view 
for obtaining, either then or at some future time, 
its definitive confirmation from the Holy See. 

The new envoy arrived in Rome on the 17th of 
May, 1661, and he soon learned that the cause of 
the failure of the affair of the nuns, in 1647, was 
the fourth vow proposed, it heing considered that 
the constant and obligatory contact with women 
who might be more or less penitent, was likely to 
endanger the salvation of young persons. One of 
the Roman cardinals said to Father Boniface, 
" Rem magnam petisti, et periculi plenam pro 
istis monialibus." "You ask a great thing, and 
one full of danger to these nuns." In Italy, where 
passions are so intense and excitable, it was not 
thought possible that it could be otherwise, and it 
was considered well to give the new Congregation 
a longer trial. 

Father Boniface, therefore, was at once checked 
by an unforeseen difficulty, and as he did not wish 
to return to France empty-handed, he went com 
pletely beyond Father Eudes instructions, and set 
to work to obtain from the Holy See the approba 
tion of his other institution. 

To accomplish this point, he committed a great 
imprudence, which, although at the time it passed 
unobserved, was cleverly discovered some years 
later, and became the basis of an apparently valid 
accusation against Father Eudes, of a nature, like 
everything affecting the liberties of the Gallican 
Church, to make a deep impression on Louis 

We shall speak more at length of this matter 
in its proper place; no satisfactory result was 
obtained, and Father Boniface failed to fulfil the 


Lopes of Father Eudes, who, however, had not the 
pain of foreseeing the adverse consequences of the 
measures taken. 

Ahout this time three colleagues, whom he 
numbered among the founders of his Congrega 
tion, were removed by death, and a void was made 
which could not easily be filled up. 

Father Eudes was still in Paris, when part of 
the Louvre was destroyed by fire. Two days 
after this catastrophe he was preaching in the 
church of the Benedictine convent of the Perpetual 
Adoration, where he is said to have lodged during 
his visits to the capital. The queen, with all her 
suite, entered the church ; ever ready for action, 
the gifted missionary at once changed his subject, 
and, addressing Her Majesty with all his cha 
racteristic force and energy, alluded to the recent 
disaster, saying it was a judgment sent from 
Heaven, because the works at the palace had been 
carried on on Sundays and feast days. " I am 
but a poor man," he said, " and a miserable 
sinner ; nevertheless, standing here in the place 
of God, I may say with St. Paul, and with all 
those who have the honour of preaching the word 
of God, I perform the office of an ambassador of 
Jesus Christ, bearing the message of the King of 
kings to a great queen, and I pray her to accept it 
as such." 

The sermon was not such as the courtiers were 
wont to hear, and when some of them expressed 
their astonishment at it, the queen answered, "Ik 
is a long time since I have heard preaching, but 
to-day I have heard it ; this is what a sermon 
ought to be, instead of the sweet things which 
others tell us." 

Pope Alexander VII. had just appointed three 
French ecclesiastics to go as bishops and vicars- 
apostolic to China and the neighbouring countries. 
They were Pullu, Bishop of Heliopolis, de la 


Motte-Lambert, of Berytus, and de Cotolendy, of 
Metellopolis. Father Endes consented to let 
three of his priests, Fathers le Meunier, Dam- 
ville, and Brunei accompany them, and they went 
resolved to show themselves worthy of their 
master. But they never reached their destination ; 
one letter was received from them, dated on the 
20th of March, 1G62, from Aleppo, where they were 
waiting for a caravan to proceed to Ispahan. 
Four great caravans used to leave Aleppo at differ 
ent times of the year, and were the means of com- 
iminciation with Persia, India, Constantinople, 
Dinrbekir, and Armenia. 

This letter from Aleppo is the only memorial of 
the enterprise and its devoted priests. * 

* These short details are taken from the Annals of the Con 
gregation, but we have just read with great interest some fur 
ther particulars given by M. Alfred Bonneau, in his history of 
the Life and Works of Mdrae. de Miramion. It was of great im 
portance to found a Seminary, and to have bishops who could 
admit men to the priesthood, in a part of the world where priests 
were hourly in danger of exile, imprisonment and martyrdom, 
so that, uno avulso, non deficit alter, and this consideration no 
doubt made Father Eudes all the more ready to send his three 
brethren ; they sank before they reached their journey s end, 
but their sacrifice was not in vain. We quote Alfred Bonneau s 
words : 

" A Jesuit Father, Alexander de Rhodes, celebrated for his 
devotion to the service of religion, proposed this undertaking to 
tho Pope, in 1653, but without effect. 

" Some years later, several French ecclesiastics of great merit, 
led by Father Pallu, went to Eome, and offered to set off as 
simple missionaries to India and China. The Holy Father was 
so touched by their devotion, that he not only gave them the 
authorization they asked for, but was pleased to confer on three 
of them the dignity of Bishop and Vicar Apostolical. He fur 
thermore chose Father Pallu to be elevated to the Episcopate in 
his presence and at his cost, and had him proclaimed with great 
poiap in Rome, under the title of Bishop of Heliopolis, by his 
Eminence Cardinal Antonio, head of the Congregation of the 
Propagation of the Faith. Mdme. de Miramion, full of admira 
tion for these future martyrs, undertook to defray the expenses 
attending the consecration of Father de la Motte Lambert, with 
whose family she was well acquainted. 

" Thinking the quiet and solitude of the country better fitted 
than the tumults of the capital for the necessary preparatory 
consultations between the new bishops and their missionaries, 
she gave them the use of her Chateau of Couarde, ten leagues 
from Paris. The three prelates s with twenty other ecclesiastics, 


While Father Eudes was still mourning their 
loss, Father Mauchon died at Kouen on the 6th of 
February, 1663, aged forty-six. His death was 
Boon followed by that of President Le Roux de 
Langrie,* who had appeared as founder of the 
monastery of our Lady of Charity at Caen, and 
was united by the closest bonds of friendship with 
Father Eudes and his Congregation. He ex 
pressed a wish to be buried in the seminary of 
Coutances, near Marie Desvallees. 

After many difficulties with regard to the 
superiors of the reformed Carmelites, who had 
been invited to come to France by Blessed Marie 
of the Incarnation, and Cardinal de Berulle, Pope 
Alexander VII. definitely deprived the Carme 
lite Fathers of jurisdiction over these nuns, who 
were left free to choose superiors and name visi 
tors for the preservation of regularity. 

The monastery of Caen accordingly elected 
Father Eudes as superior, and while he lived the 
nuns would take no other director. Other houses 
of the same order often availed themselves of his 
light and guidance. 

He was now advancing in years, but his courage 

took up their abode there for eighteen months, during which 
time she provided for all their wants. 

" It was from this Chateau, and loaded with the bounties of 
this pious lady, that the worthy ambassadors of the Word of 
God set off on their mission. The outset was disastrous, for 
the ship which had been chartered in Holland to take them to 
India, went down on leaving port, before they had embarked." 

The Duchess of Aiguillon cooperated with Mdme. de Miramion 
in repairing this great misfortune, and some months later the 
expedition started by land, and after many difficulties reached 
its destination. Unhappily, Mgr. Cotolendi, tho Bishop of 
Metellopolis, whose health was already delicate, died on the. 
shores of Bon gal, from the effects of the journey. But the 
Bishops of Heliopolis and Berytus reached Siam in good health, 
and soon, with the assistance constantly furnished by these 
ladies, they were able to establish a Seminary, which flourished, 
and afterwards supplied other missions." 

* The son and daughter in-law of M. le Roux de Langrie, were 
buried in the Monastery of our Lady of Charity, at Caen, in 
front of the altar. 


was ever fresh. He was about this time attacked 
by an illness, the consequence of his incessant 
labours, which, however, he resumed as soon as 
strength permitted him. We find him again at 
St. Germain, in tbe diocese of Lisieux, and at 
Lethanville, where the Bishop of Bayeux joined in 
the labours of tbe mission. 

A third mission at St. Lo checked the course of 
Jansenism, whose partizaus had not ceased to 
oppose him. 

A false doctor named Charles, who had come 
from Paris to Lower Normandy, sought to preju 
dice the public mind against the missionaries 
before their arrival at St. Lo. But he met with 
his match in Mgr. de Lesseville, Bishop of Cou- 
tances, who desired him to leave his diocese. 

The six years within which the municipality of 
Caen had required that the construction of the 
seminary should be commenced, were fast passing 
away. Notwithstanding the small means at his 
command, Father Eudes decided to begin by the 
church, which he intended to consecrate to the 
Sacred Heart of Mary. In concert with Mgr. de 
Nesmond, he fixed a day for the laying of the 
foundation stone. Madame de la Croisette, wife 
of the governor of Caen, performed this office, in 
presence of the prelate, who gave all possible 
solemnity to the ceremony. But want of money 
soon brought the works to a standstill ; they were 
resumed and abandoned several times within the 
course of the next twenty years, and were ulti 
mately concluded by means of the donations of the 
Duchess of Guise and Father Blouet de Camilly. 

Mgr. de Marca, formerly Archbishop of Tou 
louse, and successor of Mgr. de Betz in the see of 
Paris, wished to give the Eudists an establishment 
in the capital, and, before his death in 1662, had 
applied for the necessary letters patent from the 


Mgr. de Perefixe, the next Archbishop of Paris, 
seeing Lis seminaries overcrowded, and insufficient 
to contain the numerous subjects who offered 
themselves, reverted to his predecessor s project. 
M. de Langrie had offered an endowment of 1,500 
livres a year as a beginning. We are unable to 
Bay whether the failure of this scheme was due to 
the opposing influences to which we have already 
often had to allude.* 

On the return of spring the Eudists gave a 
mission at Meaux, by the request of the Bishop of 
the diocese, Mgr. de Ligny, who defrayed the 
expenses. While Father E tides was directing it, 
he received letters from Cardinal de Grimuldi, 
Archbishop of Aix, sending him from the Congre 
gation of the Propaganda a renewal of his apostolic 
powers, and asking him to draw up a memorial 
explaining his mode of governing his Seminaries 
and his Congregation. Ho fulfilled the Cardinal s 
desire without interrupting the exercises of the 
mission, and after its conclusion returned to Nor 
mandy, and gave three others at Kaveuoville, 
Cretteville, and Granville, all in the diocese of 

In 1665 our indefatigable preacher was sum 
moned to Chulons-sur-Marne by its Bishop, Mgr. 
Yialar de Herse, a disciple and chosen friend of 
Father Olier. This prelate had found his diocese 
in a deplorable! state, and from the time of his 

* Annales de la Congregation. P. Costil. 

f Henri Clausse de Marchaumont, Bishop of Chalons-sur- 
Marne, had long mourned over the fearful state to which the 
relaxation of discipline had reduced his diocese. His grand 
vicar wrote to M. Bourdoise, that the most ordinary ecclesiastic 
of Paris would be worth his weight in gold in Champagne. He 
had long intended to establish a Seminary, and with this view 
he begged Cardinal Richelieu to give him Father Olier as his 
co-adjutor. The holy priest refused this dignity, to the great 
vexation of his family. The Bishop of Chalons wishing at least 
to have one of Father Olier s fellow labourers, begged the king 
to appoint Father Vialar, who soon succeeded him in the See, 


arrival be had endeavoured to revive religion and 
to convert the Protestants by means of missions 
directed by the Fathers of the Oratory. Father 
Eudes fame had reached his ears ; perhaps he had 
even heard him preach in Paris. He hoped to 
reach the very root of the evil by inviting this 
celebrated missionary and his colleagues to come 
to his diocese, and, giving them the assistance of 
thirty or forty priests, Oratorians and Doctors of 
the Sorbonne, in their labours : with this unlooked- 
for aid Father Eudes worked wonders. The co 
operation of the Oratory Fathers is a happy proof 
that all did not take part in the constant persecu 
tions which have filled our pages ; but that the 
greater number proved worthy sons of Fathers de 
Berulle, de Coudren, de Bourgoing, Senault, &c. 
A success so extraordinary, and gained under con 
ditions so remarkable, suffices to prove the often- 
questioned eminence of Father Eudes talents and 

Mgr. de Vialar expressed, the greatest satisfac 
tion at the results of this mission, and knowing 
that Father Eudes wished to visit Clairvaux,* he 
lent him his carriage for that purpose. 

This visit was the fulfilment of a long-cherished 
Lope. FatherEudes had already become intimately 
acquainted with the Bernarclins of Val-Richer, in 
the diocese of Bayeux,! and their abbot had given 

for Mgr. Marchaumont died before his co-adjutor s Bulls ar 

* Clairvaux, (clara vallis,) is about six miles to the south 
east of Bar-sur-Aube, in a valley, and near a fine forest. The 
abbey buildings have been turned into a prison. 

f It is on record that when Father Eudes visited this monas 
tery now the abode of M. Guizot, he used always to say his 
Mass at the Altar of St. Mary Major, above which the Holy 
Picture is to be seen. The abbot permitted him to have a copy 
taken, and he wished the painter whom he employed to go to 
Confession and Communion before beginning his work. This 13 
in keepin^ with his love for the virtue of chastity, which wa3 
such that a veil seemed to cover his eyes when he had to con- 


him letters of association, the monks of Clairvanx 
therefore received him as a brother, and gladly 
answered all his questions regarding their holy 
founder. He had the happiness of wearing the 
saint s cowl for a few moments, and received a 
small portion of it as a precious relic. 

Some misunderstanding had arisen between the 
abbot of Citeaux, general of the order, and Fathers 
de Ranee aud^ Georges, abbots of la Trappe and 
Val-Eicher. The two latter were therefore going 
to Rome, and they undertook to ask for the con? 
firmation of the institute of our Lady of Charity 
of the Refuge, and its erection into a religious 
order. Fears had been always entertained at 
Rome regarding the contact of the nuns with 
fallen women ; but Cardinal de Retz, who had left 
France in consequence of the troubles in which 
lie^ had taken so prominent a part, said that 
this objection could not stand, seeing that for 
twenty years this Congregation had been engaged 
in the care of penitents, and that, although mosfc 
of its members were young, no one of them had 
deviated from the line of duty; and (hat the fourth 
vow, considered so full of danger for them, would 
only tend to confirm the regularity of their life. 
The commissioners appointed by Alexander 

verse with women. St. Francis of Sales was distinguished by 
the same virtue. (Annales P. Costil.) 

This Holy Picture was a copy which the Abbot of Val-Bicher 
had caused to be made, with Pope Alexander VIII. s permission 
from one at St. Mary Major, at Borne, said to be the work of St. 
Luke. The tradition that St. Luke was a painter, though nofe 
in itself improbable, has been questioned, and some say that 
the pictures of our Lady and the Infant Saviour attributed to 
nun at Rome and Bologna, were painted by Luca, called il Santo 
Luca, a Florentine artist of the IXth century, who embraced 
the religious life, and was celebrated,for his piety. On entering 
the nave of St. Mary Major by the great archway, with its two 
beautiful pillars of Oriental granite, the Chapel of Paul V. 
Borghese is in front, and opposite that of Sixtus V. ; it is 
only equalled in splendour by the Corsini Chapel at St. John 
Lateran. The picture of the Blessed Virgin with the Infant 
Jesus in her arms is in this church; 


VII. gave a favourable report, and the Holy 
Father, on the 2nd of January, 1666, issued a bull 
erecting the new order under the rule of St. 
Augustin, and approving the constitutions drawn 
up by Father Eudes, and presented by his dioce 
san, who was authorized, if necessary, to add new 

As soon as he received this bull, Mgr. Nesmond 
hastened to take it himself to the monastery, 
whose inmates were anxious, without delay, to 
pronounce the solemn vows now permitted by the 
Head of the Church ; this was not to be done by 
any one under twenty* years of age, so great wag 
the apprehension still felt at Rome regarding in 
tercourse with the penitents. 

On the Feast of the Ascension, after a retreat, 
during which their dispositions were carefully 
examined by Father Legrand, their director, 
sixteen religious made, in presence of the prelate, 
the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, 
and a fourth which bound them to work for the 
salvation of penitent women. 

Father Eudes had borne the toil, it was meet 
that he should have the honour, and he preached 
on the occasion of this long-expected event. " I 
speak to you, my dear sisters: I would say to you, 
O, daughters of the Sacred Heart of the Mother of 
Fair Love, here is the long-expected day, when you 
are about to renew your holy vows ; do it with a 
large heart, corde magno et animo volenti. 

" You, like other nuns, will make the vows of 
poverty, chastity, and obedience, but you will be 
distinguished from them by a fourth vow of labour 
ing for the salvation of souls purchased by the 
precious blood of the Sou of God. Remember, 
dear daughters, that this is the object for which 

* The Council of Trent allows religious vows to be taken at 
the age of 17. 


you have been founded, that the town has received 
you on this condition, and that at the hour of 
death God will require of you an account of the 
manner in which you have fulfilled this obligation. 
Woe to the daughter of onr Lady of Charity who 
has no soul to present to God at that day! 
Think of this, my dear daughters in Christ. 
Be firmly persuaded that you are absolutely hound 
to do all, that care, diligence, and prayer, and 
above all the example of a holy life can do, to win 
for your Spouse the souls that He has redeemed 
with His blood. Such is your bouiulen duty. 
Bear it constantly in mind. Oh, if it is possible 
that you should ever be so unhappy as to neglect 
it, I now pray with all my heart that the Heavenly 
Father may chasten you so severely as to compel 
you immediately to return with fervour to your 
divine and only work." 

Father Eudes had never entered into the uneasi 
ness of the Court of Kome in regard to the fourth 
vow. He used to say that " purity, united with 
true charity, cannot be sullied, any more than the 
sunbeam is sullied by the mire. God has so 
manifestly protected this holy Order from its 
origin to the present day, that no one of the nuns 
Las suffered any harm." 

The same thought is expressed by M. Arlin- 
court : " The sunlight which shines upon corrup 
tion returns to heaven as pure as it came down. * 

Mother Patin, the superior, shared Father 
Eudes joy, as she had shared his labours, but it 
was only for a short time. She was soon attacked by 
a mortal illness, and after having, under obedience, 
given her blessing to all her daughters, and taken 
a blessed taper in her hand to make an act of 
honourable reparation, she died on the 31st of 
October, 1668, at the age of sixty-eight. For two 
days her body remained as flexible as during life, 
and gave forth a sweet odour which was long 


retained by the linen she bad used during her 

After her burial, Father Legrantf, the rector p! 
the parish of St. Julian, assembled all the nuns in 
the community-room, where some of the Visitan- 
dines also were present, and asked them if they in 
tended again to choose a superior from the Monas 
tery of the Visitation. Sister de Balde, who was only 
twenty years of age, answered with decision, that 
after the Order of our Lady of Charity had been so 
well directed, it would be little to its honour if no 
religious could be found fit to be named superior. 
Her words were so calm and reasonable, that 
Father Legrand advised the community to do 
what seemed to them best. It was therefore 
decided that henceforth the superiors should be 
elected from among its members, and the first 
choice fell on Sister St. Peter of the Blessed 
Sacrament. The nuns of the Visitation returned 
to their monastery, notwithstanding the desire 
expressed that one of them should remain to assist 
the new superior. 

G*od often makes use of the lowliest instruments 
to carry out His designs. The beginning of this 
order was due to Magdalen Lamy, and another 
poor woman was to promote its growth. Mary 
Henrtaut, who was born at Estraham, near Caen, 
was miraculously preserved from death two or 
three times. It is said that on the first of these 
occasions she was devoted to our Lady of Deliver 
ance, and that the Blessed Virgin had often con 
descended to appear to her, and had taught her to 
say the Eosary. 

She became a postulant in the monastery of our 
Lady of Charity, and was immediately employed iu 
the most servile work ; it is believed that the sub 
mission with which she undertook these labours 
wns rewarded by special divine assistance; in 
1658 she was allowed to take the habit, under the 


name of Mary of the Trinity, and she soon became 
a lay-sister. She gained the confidence of the peni 
tents, and used to exhort them and induce them 
to go to confession ; her continual ecstasies com 
pelled Mother Patin to dismiss her, but this holy 
superior expressed her belief that Mary Heurtaut 
would die a choir-sister. She then went to the 
Capucines, but, having heard that she had left 
another religious house, they refused to keep her, 
and in 1663 she returned to her family, having 
spent five years in the convent of our Lady o 
Charity. In 1666, Mother Patin was requested 
to send a nun to take charge of a community 
newly-founded at Rennes, for the care of penitents; 
she had no one to send, the Bull constituting the 
order had not yet arrived, and the nuns had not 
yet taken the fourth vow. Under these circum 
stances Marie Heurtaut occurred to her mind. 
She, being seriously ill with dropsy, prayed God 
to cure her, if He willed that she should under 
take this journey ; wonderful to say, the following 
day she was able to receive the superior s orders, 
and to set off for Rennes, where the little commu 
nity received her with open arms. This house 
had been established in 1659, by Mile. Du Plessis. 
Mgr. d Argouges bad given 16,000 livres, and 
Madame de Brie 1,500. Mile. Menard had suc 
ceeded Mile. Du Plessis as its head. 

Marie Heurtaut at once looked into every detail; 
she began by establishing enclosure, and intro 
ducing the black habit. Gentleness was her rule, 
even with the most refractory penitents, and she 
soon won their hearts. 

A pious tradition relates that on one occasion, 
when Marie Heurtaut had given all the money in 
the house to the poor, an unknown person 
brought a hundred crowns ; and that a cask into 
which she had caused holy water to be poured, 
with this intention, supplied wine for a whole 


year. We see no reason to doubt these anecdotes, 
which are taken from the Annals of the Congrega 
tion of Jesus and Mary. Many of a like nature 
are to be found in the process of canonization of 
St. Jane Frances de Chantal. 

By the 14th of May, 1673, the house at Caen 
was able to send some nuns to Reunes. Sister 
St. Julian was appointed superior, and, according 
to Mother Patin s prediction, Marie Heurtaut took 
the solemn vows. The Bishop of Rennes formally 
recognized this establishment, which took rank as 
a religious house on the the llth of November, 
1673, having existed as a charitable institution 
from 1659. Rennes has still a convent of this 
order, though no longer in the house then occu 

Madame de Brie had given a house and a small 
piece of ground for a similar foundation at Hen- 
nebon, and had invited nuns from Caen to estab 
lish themselves there; but the Mother of the 
Nativity, (Herson, Father Eudes niece,) had not 
at once sent them, and on the death of Madame 
de Brie, her relations, who were Protestants, 
raised many difficulties. In 1687 this house was 
given up, and the nuns who had been there went 
to the convent at Guingamp, founded in 1676, 
and then ruled by Marie Heurtaut, Mother Mary 
of the Holy Trinity. This foundation was after 
wards transferred to St. Brieuc, where it still 

The good mother received these poor sisters, 
fourteen in number, with the greatest charity, 
although they were a serious charge to a house 
whose own resources were the smallest. 

The house of Guingamp was founded at the 
earnest request of Mother Mary of the Holy Tri 
nity, by the Viscountess des Arcis, and M. de 
Kervegan ; Mgr. Grungier afterwards granted let 
ters of institution. 


This good mother had directed it for six years-, 
when she was invited by M. d Argouges and his> 
wife to take charge of the house of St. Pelagia, 
Faubourg St. Marcel, Rue-de-la-Clef.* She went 
through Caen to take some nuns from the convent 
there, who were to accompany her ; but some dif 
ferences with the parliament, on account of having 
permitted a novice to take the veil without its 
authorization, led to her return to Guingamp in 
1684, accompanied by her nuns and this novice, 
not, however, before much good had been done at 
St. Pelagia. 

The order founded another house at Vannes in 
1683 ; some nuns from Hennebon were sent there 
in the first instance, but they were afterwards 
replaced by three from Rennes. The first superior 
of this house was Mother Mary of the Sacred 
Heart (Bedaud). She sought the assistance of 
Mother Mary of the Holy Trinity, whose expe 
rience and talents were considered indispensable 
in making new foundations. 

This institution owed its existence to M. de 
Kerlivio and M. de Francheville, formerly advocate 
general in the parliament of Brittany, and ulti 
mately Bishop of Perigueux. Mile, de Franche 
ville, M. de Kerlivio, and Father Huby, also 
laboured to establish in the same town two houses 

* Mdme. de Miramion had, with the consent of the magis 
trates, gathered together six or seven unfortunate women in a 
private house in the faubourg St. Antoine. Encouraged by the 
success of her effort, this pious lady, of whom it might well be 
said, " A law of gentleness guided her tongue, and a spirit of 
prudence and discernment ruled all her words," resolved to 
found a house of correction for abandoned women. Many cha 
ritable ladies seconded her efforts, and considerable sums of 
money were placed at her disposal. In 1665 the king granted 
letters patent for the establishment of a refuge in buildings be 
longing to the house called la Pitie. But Mdme. de Miramion 
did not succeed in this larger undertaking, and we cannot won 
der that in 1632 she gladly committed the work to Father Eudea 


of retreat, which have been a means of untold 

Mother Bedaud s second three years of office 
having expired, Mother Mary of the Trinity 
(Henrtaut) was chosen to succeed her, and ruled 
the house for six years. She died there in 1709, 
aged seventy-five, after a life full of good works. 

The name of this lowly maiden, wbo became so 
eminent in religion, is now perhaps forgotten. It 
is a pleasure to us to bring it again to light, and to 
apply to her the words, Maxima in minimis. 

Two more bouses were founded about this 
time, one at Tours, on the 28th of October, 
1714, (still in tbe same place,) and one at La 
Rochelle, on the 21st of November, 1715, (after 
wards transferred to the ancient convent of the 

Six choir and two lay-sisters from Guingamp 
began the first, in a house situated in the parish 
of Notre-Dame de la Riche, tbe most ancient in 
Tours, where St. Gatiau first celebrated tbe holy 
Mysteries. This house had formerly been occu 
pied by nuns of the Order of tbe Annunciation, 
one of whom had, fifty years before, foretold the 
arrival of devoted sisters in white habits.* In 
1722, this community contained twenty-two mem 

M. Etienne de Champflour was Governor of La 
Eochelle when the house there was founded, and, 
at tbe request of Madame Desconbel, he endowed 
it with 30,000 livres. This lady had been in tbe 
habit of living at the Monastery of Vannes, while 
her husband was at sea. Many difficulties were 
overcome by the influence of the Comte de 
Cbamilly, and M. de Beaubarnais, steward of the 
province, and nuns were invited to come from 
Vanues. Madame Desconhel did everything in 

* Annales de la Congregation. P. Costil. 


her power to establish them in their new abode, 
gave them all she had, and ultimately joined the 

We shall soon have to speak at greater length 
of a monastery founded in Paris, in 1724. 

A general assembly of the nuns of the different 
houses of the Order of our Lady of Charity of the 
Eefugo was held in 1734, in the Monastery nt 
Caen, which was considered as the Mother-House, 
although possessed of no jurisdiction over the 
others. Many difficulties required discussion, 
and it was considered necessary to revise the con 

The houses of Yannes, la Rochelle, Rennes, 
and Paris, sent their Superiors, each accompanied 
by a nun, and under the obedience of their respec 
tive Bishops. The communities of Guingamp 
and Tours did not think it well to send any of 
their number to this assembly, and therefore 
begged Father Martine, assistant of the Superior 
General of the Eudists, and director of the semi 
nary of Coutances, and another priest, to give 
them the benefit of their advice, and to represent 
them at these deliberations, which occupied a 

It was decided that measures should be taken, 
to have the constitutions definitely approved by 
the Holy See ; and as the Bull of Alexander VII., 
erecting the Congregation into a Religious Order, 
authorized the Bishop of the diocese in which it 
had taken rise, to add whatever regulations cir 
cumstances might seem to require, a revised 
copy of the constitutions was laid before Mgr. de 
Luynes, Bishop of Bayeux, who sanctioned them 
without any difficulty. 

Let us return to the monastery in Paris. In 
1720, Cardinal de Noailles summoned several 
nuns from Guingamp, to re-establish order in 
the house of the Madelonnettes, where it was 


greatly needed. The task was as irksome as that 
of reformers generally is, but they remained there 
until 1734, when the Ursulines took their place. 
They had long felt the necessity of some altera 
tion in their position, and in 1724, requested per 
mission to form an establishment in Paris, not 
with any intention of leaving the Madelonnettes, 
but in order to supply subjects formed and accus 
tomed to life in the capital, and thus to avoid 
the constant difficulties of bringing sisters from a 
distance of eighty leagues, and sending them back 
again, if they proved unsuited. 

Cardinal de Noailles recognized the importance 
of the proposed foundation, and conjointly with 
Marie Le Petit Verno de la Chausseraie, bought 
on the 3rd of April, 1724, a large house, (Rue des 
Postes, 40, now the College Rolliu,) and estab 
lished the nuns from Guiugamp in it. In 1764, 
the chapel was consecrated under the invocation of 
St. Michael. The penitents who sought ad 
mission into this house, or who were transferred 
to it, occupied buildings separate from those of 
the nuns and the boarders. In 1792, the nuns 
were driven out of it, but they preserved the 
spirit of their vocation, and in 1806, they re 
assembled in the old Convent of the Visitation, 
Rue St. Jacques.* 

Father Eudes great work was begun as a private 
institution in 1611, became a canonical institution 
in 1651, and a Religious Order in 1666. At the 
time of the Revolution it numbered houses in 
the following towns: Caen (founded in 1651); 
Rennes (1673); Guingamp (1676); Vannes (1683); 
Tours (1714) ; La Rochelle (1715) ; Paris 

The Convent at Hennebon, founded in 1676, 

* All these details are taken from the " Annales de la Congre 
gation de Jesus et Marie." 


was given up, as already related, in 1687. Wo 
give the history of the Order from the time of the 
Revolution to the present day, in- an Appendix. 

Mezeray was now a gouty bachelor, and had 
become peculiar in his manners. " Mezeray at the 
Academy," wrote M. Levavassenr, " looked like 
an ancient soldier of Henry IV. amongst the 
courtiers of Louis XIV. He persisted in singing 
old airs of the Fronde, never perceiving that the 
age cared not for songs, or for the Fronde. His 
disgrace, and the cessation of his pension, em 
bittered him yet more/ The two brothers often 
met in Paris ; they were tenderly attached to each 
other, and Father Elides helped to keep alive in 
the heart of the Academician the sentiment of 
faith, which was, by and by, to be aroused. 

As for Charles d Houay, the quiet tenor of his 
life was little broken by the duties of the public 
offices- which he filled ; his two sons were united 
with the best families of the province ; and he 
was passing into a happy old age, while his two 
elder brothers were gaining fresh glory on two 
very different battle-fields. 







"We mnst go back a little in our history, to say 
that in Advent, 1665, Father Eudes opened a 


mission in the beautiful church of St. Peter, at 
Caen, which lasted till the following Lent. It 
was succeeded by those of Mesnil, in the diocese 
of Lisieux ; Cerisy, Montpinson and St. Esny, in 
the diocese of Coutances, and by another at Caen, 
for the garrison of the Castle. 

Mgr. de Maupas, Bishop of Evreux, next sum 
moned Father Eudes, and he was so satisfied 
with the results of the mission of 1666, that he 
wished to secure a seminary in his episcopal city 
for the Eudists. He bought a site, furnished the 
house, gave it his own library of six hundred 
volumes, and many relics which he had brought 
back from Rome, where he had twice journeyed to 
promote the beatification and canonization of St. 
Francis of Sales. 

M. Le Doux de Melville, Dean of the Cathedral, 
accepted the title of founder of the Seminary, 
resigning in its favour the priory of Our Lady of 
the Desert. Father Manuoury was the first 

The letters of institution of this Seminary bear 
date, January 14th, 1667. It was necessary to 
obtain the consent of the Duke de Bouillon, who 
was also Count of Evreux. Richard Le Queux, 
a burgess of Rouen, gave the lands of Aulmay, 
and donations were also made by Claude de 
Villiers, Barbe Outon, Pierre de la Barre, and 
Guillaume de Vaucel. The year 1667 was spent 
in a mission at Rouen, and the zealous band 
there underwent a persecution, whose authors were 
well known to them. 

In the following year the plague re-appeared in 
the country, and Father Eudes, who had long 
since shown, by his example, how this terrible foe 
should be met, now wrote a long letter full of wise 
and holy advice on the subject, to Father 

The Rouen Mission had been preceded by one 


at Besneville, and was followed by others at 
Persy and Brncheville, and by a third, which 
lasted from the end of 1667 till the following 
Lent ; these missions, as well as others given 
within the next two years at Carentan, Moufar- 
ville, Plessix, de Serilly, and de Quetehen, all 
took place in the -diocese of Coutances. 

In 1669, we find the missionaries working at 
Rennes, by the request of the Bishop, Mgr. de 
la Yieuville ; their mission in this city lasted four 
months, and was one of the longest undertaken 
by Father Eudes. It brought its reward, for the 
Bishop was so delighted with its results, that 
before its conclusion he gave the direction of his 
Seminary to Father Eudes, and begged for three 
other missions in his diocese, one of which was at 
Fougeres. The letters of institution for the 
Seminary are dated the 8th of March, 1670. 
The Bishop gave the Congregation the house and 
garden bought for this purpose, situated in the 
Rue St. Etienne, near the parish church of that 
name. He authorized the priests of the Congre 
gation to celebrate solemnly the Feast of the 
Adorable Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, on the 
31st of August, with an Octave, and that of the 
Heart of the Blessed Virgin, on the 8th of 
February, in the same manner. Let us remark 
that this is the first mention of the Feast of the 
Adorable Heart of our Lord in an episcopal 

The first Superior of the Rennes Seminary was 
Father Blouet de Camilly ; Mgr. de Vieuville 
afterwards made him Canon of his Cathedral, but 
lie was recalled to occupy the theological chair at 
Coutances, and thus became permanently con 
nected with that city. 

At the close of the Mission of Rennes, Father 
Eudes established in the principal church the 
Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which 


still exists. Another Confraternity was also erected 
in this diocese, though not at the same time ; it 
is known as the Society of the Children of the 
Admirable Mother of the third order of our Lady 
of Charity of the Refuge, and spread into the 
dioceses of St. Brieuc and Vannes, where it is still 
in being. Some of its memhers have formed a 
Community at Parame, in the diocese of Bennes, 
with the object of training female teachers. This 
institution, which bears the name of the Congre 
gation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 
was set on foot by Mgr. Maupoint, Bishop of St. 
Denis, (He de Reunion,) and formerly Vicar-gene 
ral of Rennes. 

At the end of each of his missions, Father 
Eudes generally established the Confraternity of 
the Sacred Heart of Mary ; but seeing that it was 
not sufficient to meet the needs of some souls 
called, while living in the world, to a higher degree 
of perfection, he instituted on their behalf this 
Society of Children of the Heart of the Admirable 
Mother. He does not appear himself to have 
composed the rules, but they are so full of his 
spirit that it is evident they were drawn up by one 
of his Congregation. 

In 1668 Father Eudes consecrated himself and 
those belonging to him to the service of the 
Blessed Virgin ; he signed the act with his blood, 
carried it about him until his last day, and, after 
the example of St. Edmund, Archbishop of Can 
terbury, desired that it should be buried with him 
in his coffin. 

Having finished his labours at Rennes, he re 
turned to Caen, and was engaged in examining 
the younger brethren of the Order, from the house 
at Coutances, when the interests of the Congrega 
tion required his presence in Paris. This was in 
1671 ; Mgr. Harlay de Chanvalon had just been 
transferred from Rouen to Paris, and Father Eudes 


lost no time in going to see this prelate, who had 
always proved his protector. 

Louis XIV. had desired Mgr. de Harlay to 
choose four priests fitted to give a mission of some 
weeks duration, at Versailles; when Father Eudes 
appeared, the bishop at once thought that Provi 
dence had saved him from the embarrassing duty 
of making this selection, and without further delay 
he requested Father Eudes to summon three of 
his missionaries, and to hold himself ready, with 
their assistance, to begin this important work in 
Holy Week. 

The age was an age of orators, and onr humble 
missionary was now to take his place as the king s 

Louis XIV. was only thirty-three years of age ; 
the priest was a septuagenarian ; he had to speak 
to a young and handsome monarch, whose idea of 
his own importance was so high, that his policy 
might be summed tip in the three words, " the 
State is myself," and to youthful noblemen who 
could ill brook any restraint. The truth which he 
had to bring before a brilliant court was the same 
which Massillon pronounced forty-four years later, 
beside the coffin of the same great king, " God 
only is great, my brethren !" 

How were Father Elides, and his colleagues to 
face so imposing an audience ? They were priests 
from the country, the scene of their labours hud 
been for the most part in lowly parishes ; was not 
the change from such obscurity to such splendour 
too sudden and too dazzling ? But they retained 
their calm and lofty bearing ; they rose to the 
occasion ; they were its masters. They could not 
fail in a trial to which it pleased God to call them. 
The illustrious Oratorian Mascaron had but lately 
left the pulpit they were about to occupy. He 
had preached the Advent of 1666, the Lent of 
1667, the Advent of 1668, the Lent of 1669, and 


the Advent of 1670. The Bishopric of Tulle he- 
coming vacant, Louis XLV. gave it to him, and he 
returned to court to, preach the Lent of 1671.* 

Bossuet, hy Louis XIV. s desire, had preached 
at the chapel of the Louvre during the Advent of 
1661, before the court in the Lent of 1662, at 
Val de Grace, before Anne of Austria in 1663 ; 
again in the chapel of the Louvre in Advent 
1665, at St. Germain-en-Laye in Lent 1666, and 
and in Advent of 1669, in the same palace before 
the king. 

Father Eudes was about to subject himself to 
dangerous comparisons when he arrived at Ver 
sailles on Palm Sunday, 1671. 

Mgr. de Harlay must have felt the greatest con 
fidence in his choice, when he called the Eudists 
to succeed the Oratorian preacher, "whose very 
failings had made him popular, who was subtle 
and pompous, but grave and dignified, with flashes 
of wonderful eloquence." 

The court had but lately listened to another 
celebrated Oratorian, Father le Boux, " whose 
reputation had even borne a comparison with 
Bossuet in his prime. "t The day after Father 
Eudes arrived, he was presented to the king, who 
received his thanks with much affability. " I am 
very glad," said His Majesty, " that the Arch 
bishop has chosen you for this mission ; you will 
do a great deal of good. Continue as you have 
begun. You will convert many, you will not 
convert everybody, but you will do your best." 
The king was pleased to command M. de Bonte- 

* On Mascaron s first appearance, the learned Tanneguy-Le- 
Fevre, Mdme. Dacier s father, said, "This young orator is most 
eloquent. His appearance is in keeping with his office. He 
teaches, he pleases, he touches the heart. Alas for the preachers 
who will come here, (to Saumur,) after Mascaron." 
t Mascaron was then thirty. 

t Jacquinet. Les predicateurs au XVIIieme siecle avant Bos- 


ras, the governor of the palace, to take tlie greatest 
care of the missionaries. What did he imply by 
those words, " you will not convert everybody" ? 
The Duchess of la Valliere had just retired from 
court, the Marquise de Montespan had taken a 
place very near the throne, the Duke of Maine, 
who was declared legitimate, had lately been born, 
but titles, riches, and honours could not cover the 
disgrace of his birth. 

Father Eudes, who had never made any com 
promise with sin, w r ho looked on chastity as a 
priceless virtue, was thus brought face to face with 
open wickedness. 

To gain a hearing from a prince who knew no 
control, he must needs temper the firmness of the 
missionary with the address peculiar to Normans. 

He adopted the plan which Mascaron himself 
bad chosen ; he gave his noble and mighty hearers 
to understand, that if he spoke the truth to them 
under a certain disguise, if he did not bring it 
into the fullest light, their penetration must sur 
pass his courage.* 

The king came from the court at St. Germain 
to Versailles, to follow the mission for three days. 
The queen herself rewarded the children whom 
the missionaries pointed out as most pious and 
best instructed. 

The king gave proofs of his satisfaction by offer 
ing Father Eudes a donation of 2,000 livres for 
the construction of the seminary chapel at Caen, 
and by retaining one of the missionaries to take 
charge of the sacristy of his chapel. The remem 
brance of this mission also induced him to use his 
authority in favour of the establishment of a house 
of the order in the capital. 

The opportunity seemed favourable, but God 
willed that Father Eudes, like Moses, should 

* Mascaron a Versailles. 


behold the horizon of a land of promise which he 
could not enter. 

Madame Petau, widow of M. de Traversay, 
counsellor of parliament, was devoted to good 
works, and intimately acquainted with St. Vincent 
de Pawl, in obedience to whose washes she had 
become guardian of the nuns of the Order of the 
Cross, established by Madame de Villeneuve, for 
the care of schools in hamlets and country places. 

This lady gave Father Eudes and his Congre 
gation two-thirds of a house, since occupied by 
the Priests of the Community of St. Josse,* in 
case it should be found impossible to settle some 
of the Order there, they were free to sell it and 
employ the money in the purchase of another 
house for the same purpose. Father Eudes ob 
tained letters patent enabling him to accept this 
donation, and it was this affair which had required 
his presence in Paris in 1671. 

But the rector and the wardens of the parish 
of St. Josse were adverse to the establishment of 
a community of strange priests close to their 
church, and notwithstanding a letter which M. de 
Colbert wrote to the parliament by the king s 
order, their opposition kept the matter pending 
until 1703, when an arrangement was made 
enabling Father Eudes successors to carry out 
Madame de Traversay s intentions by buying 
another house, t 

* St. Josse was a Parish Church, at the corner of the streets 
Aubry le Boucher, and Quincampoix. It was destroyed during 
the Revolution. When Philip Augustus built a wall round 
Paris, part of the parish of St. Lawrence was included within it. 
The inhabitants of this portion found themselves placed in a 
difficult position for the performance of their religious duties, 
and begged that the chapel of St. Josse might be made a parish 
church. Dulawie. 

f This house was near Estrapade, and at no great distance 
from the Church of St. Genevieve ; the Eudists remained there 
until the Revolution, and the last Superior was Father Hebert, 
whose glorious death we shall have to record. It was seques- 


In 1704, Father Legrix, a Eudist, was appointed 
to the parish of St. Josse; he was unhappily led 
away by the novelties of Quesnellism to such a 
degree that he, as well as Father Bournisieu, who 
replaced him, appealed against the constitutions 
of Clement XI. The Order of Jesus and Mary at 
once gave up all intercourse with St. Josse. 

Mgr. de Maupas, Bishop of Evreux, heing 
attacked in 167-2 by a tedious and painful illness, 
and fearing that he could no longer do justice to 
his diocese, wrote to Father .Ferrier, a Jesuit, 
confessor to Louis XIY., and begged him to uso 
Ins influence in favour of a petition which he was 
sending to Paris by M. Durancel, one of his 
vicars-general. In the petition, he begged the 
king to appoint Father Elides his co-adjutor, 
because, as he said, he knew no priest more 
worthy of this position, or in whom he could place 
more entire confidence. 

The episcopal dignity had no attractions for 
the humble priest, and he lost no time in writing 
to desire that Father Mannoury would declare to 
the bishop and the grand- vicars, that he wished 
for no promotion but that which his Saviour had 
chosen for him, the cross. He repeated in other 
words his constant sentiments, " Mihi confusio efc 
ignominia, tibi autem honor et gloria." " Con 
fusion and shame to me ; honour and glory to 

Father Ferrier told Mgr. de Maupas that the 
proposed step was out of the question, as Father 

trated at that time, like all cf;her religious houses, and after 
wards became the property of the Sisters of the Monastery 
of the Visitation, Rue du Bac. 

At a. much later period it was bought by the Jesuit Fathers, 
and became the seat of their, celebrated school. Every year, 
sons of the most noble families in France seek to prepare them- 
selve^ by its high course of studies for the duties of their posi 
tion, and to escape the inaction which honourable scruples have 
often imposed, but which our. dearest interests now require us 
to shake off. 


Euclcs was already fulfilling a great mission, and 
ought not to be fettered by any obligations winch 
would interfere with his presence in any place to 
which Providence might call him. We see that 
the refusal, no less than the selection, added fresh 
laurels to his crown. 

After the mission at Versailles, he gave one to 
the nuns of the Congregation of our Lady, recently 
established at Yernon. This institution, founded 
at Nancy, by the Blessed Peter Fourrier, must not 
be confounded with the Order of cur Lady, estab 
lished by Madame de Lestonac. 

His missions followed one another in quick suc 
cession ; he often chose the most deserted places. 
He was obliged also to take charge of the daily 
business of his different foundations, as well as of 
many religious houses, which had placed them 
selves under his direction. 

Amongst these we must mention the celebrated 
Abbey of Montmartre, at that time governed by 
Madame Francoise Pienee de Lorraine. Ten years 
previously, this Princess had begged that her 
Community might be associated in praj^er with the 
new Congregation. No surer means could have 
been found of gaining Father Eudes affection, 
and the Abbess ere long perceived the advantages 
which her nuns derived from this holy union. 
The good priest, notwithstanding his infirmities, 
and the many urgent claims on his attention, 
spent three months in regulating the spiritual 
concerns of this important Abbey. 

The Abbess, in her gratitude, begged her rela 
tion, the Duchess of Guise, to contribute hand 
somely to the Church of the Caen Seminary, and 
at once adopted the Feast of the Sacred Heart of 
Mary, which had been instituted in Father Eudes 
Congregation, and seemed to have won for it 
blessings from heaven. This Feast was cele 
brated at Montmartre for the first time in 1673. 


A Mass and Office for the Feast of the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus, composed some years before by 
Father Eudes, had been approved by several 
Bishops. We read the following words in the 
letters of institution granted to the great Semi 
nary at Rennes, in 1670, " We permit the said 
priests, of the said Congregation, to celebrate 
solemnly every year the Feast of the Adora 
ble Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, with an 
octave, and to use for this purpose the proper 
office and mass, and to say the same double office, 
on the first Thursday of every month, if not 
already occupied by a double or semi-double 
Feast ; and to do the same with regard to the 
Feast of the Heart of the Blessed Virgin, &c."* 

* Father Le Dore writes thus to us on the 28th November, 
1868. " I have found some very valuable documents at Caen; 
those to which I attach most importance are original letters 
authorizing- Father Eudes to solemnize the Feast of the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus ; which enable me to prove that he has the glory 
of being the first Apostle of this Devotion." 

_ Father Dore says again, (Vertus du P. Endes,) "A man of 
himself may doubtless do great things; but the establishment 
of a glorious devotion, the. introduction of a solemn Feast into 
the Church, is not the work of any mere man ;" in such a fact 
we cannot but acknowledge the immediate action of God, and 
Bay, " Digitus est Dei." 

We can confidently assert that Father Eudes was the first 
person entrusted with the mission of making devotion to the 
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary known in the Church, and 
establishing its public and solemn celebration. It is generally 
believed that the Venerable Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Visita 
tion Convent at Paray-le-Monial, in the diocese of Autun, was 
the first to make known the devotion of the Sacred Heart of 
Jesus. This holy religious induced her sisters at Dijon to adopt 
it, and the Feast was celebrated in their church for the first 
time in 1686, under Mother Saumaise. 

Mgr. Languet, Archbishop of Sens, author of the Life of Mary 
Alacoque, ^was made aware of the priority of Father Eudes 
claim, by Father le Moine, prefect of the Seminary at Caen, and 
added a note to his book rendering him justice. Mary Alacoque 
was born at Lauthecour, in 164-7. On the 8th of February, 1648, 
Father Eudes, with the sanction of Mgr. de Eagny, solemnized 
the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Mary, with extraordinary pomp, 
in the Cathedral of Autun. We must here admire the secret 
designs of Providence, which, but a short time before, and in the 
very neighbourhood of this city, had caused Mary Alacoque, the 
future chosen apostle of the Sacred Heart, to be born. She 


Father Eudes considered it -wiser not at once to 
establish this devotion, but in 1672 he thought 
the fitting moment had come, and ordered that the 
Feast should be celebrated by his Congregation 
on the 20th of October, each year, with permission 
of the Ordinary. On this occasion he published 
a circular from which we give an extract. " If 
objections should be raised on account of the 
novelty of this devotion, I reply that novelty, 
although most pernicious in mutters of faith, is 
very good in matters of piety; otherwise we should 
condemn all the Feasts of the Church, because 
they were once new." The Feast was henceforth 
kept in all houses of the Congregation, with the 
exception of those at Rouen and Rennes; the 
latter, as we have seen, had the necessary per 
mission ; at Rouen some difficulties had been 
raised by Mgr. de Medavid. 

Father Eudes always associated the two Sacred 
Hearts ; indeed this union is one of the special 
characteristics of the new devotion. " Neverthe 
less," as Father Le Dore remarks, " he began by 
the Heart of Mary. In so doing he only con 
formed his practice to the admirable order of the 
counsels of Providence ; as God has given us 
Jesus by Mary, Father Eudes wished first to pre 
sent to us the Heart of the Mother, that we might 
find a freer and more easy access to the loving 
Heart of her Son." 

The nuns of our Lady of Charity immediately 
adopted these feasts established by their holy 
founder, and their example, (with some alterations 
in the rite,) was followed by the Ursulines, the 
Benedictines, and the Visitandines, whose special 
intention was to offer reparation to the Heart of 
Jesus outraged in the Sacrament of the Altar. 

On the llth March, 1673, Father Eudes re- 

dicd in 1690, celebrated for her virtues and for the extraordi 
nary graces bestowed upon her. 


ceived a letter from Father Hubert, the priest of 
his Congregation whom the king had detained at 
Versailles, for the service of his chapel, ever since 
the mission given there two years hefore. This 
letter contained an order from their majesties that 
Father Eudes should come at once to St. Grermain- 
en-Laye, with as many of his companions as he 
required, and hegin a mission. Amongst others 
be chose Father Blouet de Camilly, to preach 
before an assembly, in the midst of which, hut for 
his vocation, he might have claimed a distin 
guished place. Father Delaunay Hue, a mission 
ary of rare merit, who afterwards became canon of 
the cathedral of Bayeux, and Father Paillot, of 
whom we have already spoken, also accompanied 

The King and the Duke of Orleans received 
Father Eudes at St. Germain with tokens of sin 
cere affection. Sermons were preache*d every 
evening for a fortnight; the King often heard 
them with pleasure, and the Queen said to a Car 
melite in the Rue St. Jacques, that the sermons 
generally preached before her were only words, 
but that those of the Eudists went to the heart. 

Missions in country places are generally fruitful, 
the seed springs up at once, and the missionary is 
rewarded for his toil, when he can himself appre 
ciate its results. But things are different at 
court ; if the master does not set an example of 
piety, the courtiers are apt to remain cold and 

The cares and business of the state, which the 
king never neglected, were relieved by the plea 
sures of a court whose magnificence was only 
equalled by the obsequious flattery of its atmos 

The king at this time found his only consolation 
in the society of Madame de Maintenon, who gained 
such power over his heart and mind, that she 


shared the throne more really, it may he, than if 
she had home the title of qneen. And, at last, the 
seed sown by Father Eudes hrought forth fruit, 
and if his life had heen prolonged, he would have 
rejoiced to see the monarch, to whom he had at two 
different periods preached the Word of God, win 
fresh esteem and love from his subjects, by a 
regular and truly Christian life. 

The success which Providence had granted to 
the missions at Versailles and St. Germain, and 
the assurances of protection from their majesties, 
encouraged Father Eudes to resume his efforts to 
obtain from the Holy See the confirmation of his 

He began to feel the weight of years, and 
wished to give all possible stability to his work, 
before leaving it to his successor. He chose 
Father de Bonnefont, in whom he had the greatest 
confidence, as his messenger to Rome on this 
occasion. This father s virtues and learning had 
won for him the esteem of the Congregation. 

He set off on the 5th of June, 1673. The 
French prelates who had most credit at the Court 
of Rome gave him letters to several of the 
Cardinals ; the king also wrote in favour of the 
new institution, and the Duchess of Guise 
specially recommended him to the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany, through whose territories he had to pass. 

Father Eudes enemies were roused to fresh ac 
tivity at the sight of the powerful means now 
brought to play for the attainment of his long- 
desired end. He was personally known to the 
king; he had passed through a serious ordeal 
with honour ; any blow must now be aimed at the 
height where his virtues and talents had placed 
him. Libel after libel, calumny after calumny, 
reaching even to Rome, everything was tried. 
" Crosses are not wanting," wrote Father Eudes, 
"crosses of many kinds. I heard yesterday of a 


new libel and new calumnies, thank God for 
them ; I pray Him, with all my heart, that my 
calumniators, or, I should say, my great benefac 
tors, may all become great saints." 

These persons had succeeded in gaining over 
to their views the Lazarist priests, by persuading 
their superiors that the approbation of the Eudista 
would injure them.* They had also obtained a 
decree from the Propaganda, against the erection 
of new Orders. t 

Bat this arrow missed the mark; the Congre 
gation was not new ; it could count thirty years of 
toil ; the king had called it to proclaim the Word 
of God in his very palace. Furthermore, the 
Belf-abnegation of the holy founder, the untold 
fatigues which were day by day undermining his 
vigorous constitution ; his constancy, his calm 
ness, his admirable resignation in the hour of 
adversity, his humility in success, all these things 
seemed to give little colour to the attacks directed 
against him. 

The Court of Rome was about to proceed, and 
Father Bonnefont s journey was drawing to a 
happy conclusion, when an unforeseen circum 
stance changed the whole state of the case. 

Father Boniface, in despair at his inability to per 
form the promises he had made to Father Eudes, 
had determined, as we have said, at any price, 
to obtain the approbation of the Holy See for tha 
Congregation of Eudists. Going beyond his in 
structions, he took, on his own responsibility, a step 
which Father Eudes would never have sanctioned, 

.* The Missionary Congregation of St. Lazarus took the three 
vows of religion ; it was instituted with a view of promoting- the 
salvation of the poor peasants by missions out of toivns, accord- 
ing to the brief of Alexander VII. (1632.) This brief exempts 
the Congregation from ordinary jurisdiction. It was thus essen 
tially different from the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, whose 
members make no vows, and work only under Episcopal juris 

t Annalea de la Congregation. (P. Costil.) 


and addressed the following petition to the Holy 
Father. " Most Holy Father, a Congregation of 
secular priests, which has been formed in France, 
Las been approved by some of the Bishops, and 
has had the honour of being recommended by the 
most Christian King. For twenty years or more it 
has laboured with zeal and diligence for its own 
perfection, and the salvation of others, and it now 
earnestly entreats the Holy Apostolic See to con 
firm its way of life. But as it too often happens 
that many heresies, springing up at different 
times, corrupt ecclesiastical communities, and 
lead them, by specious pretexts, to calumniate the 
Sovereign Pontiff, who is the Vicar of Christ, and 
to offer open opposition to his decisions ; this 
Congregation, desiring ardently to have its mem 
bers ever united by indissoluble bonds to the 
Koman Church, begs for permission to bind itself 
by a vow, from which no dispensation can be 
granted, to be ever submissive to the Sovereign 
Pontiff, and always to defend his authority, even 
in doubtful matters." 

This document was without a date, and did not 
bear the name of any Congregation ; but uu- 
fortunately on the other side of the page, Father 
Boniface had written the words, Pro Joan. Eudes, 
and at the bottom of the petition, the Holy 
Father s refusal was expressed by the term : Sane- 
tissimus abnuit.* 

How did his enemies Contrive to get possession 
of a document so. likely to injure Father Eudes, 
although it was not even frpm the pen of a mem 
ber of his Congregation ? 

* The following answer to Father Boniface s petition is pre 
served in the Imperiar archives r lt In parvo registro rescripto- 
rum et resolutiomun S. Cong. Episc. et Keg. negotiis prsepositae, 
eub die 2 Junii, 1662, ad aijte scriptas preces ita rcperitur de- 
cretum : Ex audientia SS. 31 Maii, 1662, Cong, de Seminario in 
Francia. Ludovico Bonifoce. SS. abnuit. In quorum fidem. 
, 4 September, 1662. G. EPUS. COM. SECRET." 


He alone, in the name of his brethren, Lad the 
right to make a proposal stich as it contained. 
Had it long been suspected in France that the 
Archives of the Roman Chancery contained matter 
BO certain to compromise Father Fades seriously 
in the king s eyes ? Are we not obliged to believe 
that the Oratorians took measures to possess 
themselves of this paper, which was refused to 
them ?* Was a copy procured from the agent of 
the Chancery ? or was it found among the papers 
left by Father Boniface with a priestf who lived 
at Cardinal F. Barberini s, and to whom he en 
trusted the conclusion of the affairs of the Con 
gregation ? Be this as it may, this petition 
reached France towards- the end of the year 1673, 
and was immediately placed in the hands of his 
majesty, who indignantly ordered Father Eudes to 
leave Paris for Normandy. t i 

He obeyed, and on the 27th of November, 1673, 
made a formal act disavowing Father Boniface s 
petition; a copy of this act is in the Imperial 
Archives ; it was made in presence of Nicolas de 
Montier, lord of La Motte, councillor of the king, 
lieutenant of the bailiwick, and president of the 
court at Caen ; of J. de la Meuardiere, esquire, 
king s councillor and advocate, and of Messire 
d Auge, clerk of the said bailiwick. In this act 

* The Imperial Archives contain a bundle of fifty letters from 
Father Amy, (an Oratorian) written in 1673, and 1674, to Father 
de Saumaise, assistant to Father de Ste. Marthe, the General of 
the Oratory ; in these letters he speaks of efforts made to obtain 
the above authentic document ; after a copy had been promised 
it was refused to the Oratorians, on the ground that they 
wished to use it against the Holy See. (Annales de la Congre 

f Annales de la Congregation. (P. CostiL) 

J "Boniface s petition had no effect," says Mgr. Huet, "and 
it would have been completely forgotten, but that some French 
ecclesiastics in the suite of Cardinal d Estrees, who was then at 
Rome, happened to hear of it. It was thus brought to light, 
and soon came to the king s knowledge." Origines de Caen, ch. 
xxiv. p. 634. 


Father Eudes disavows all those who put forth the 
aforesaid document in his name, and renounces for 
ever any further proceedings under the conditions 
there laid down. "Moreover, he informs us, that 
not only was this petition presented without his 
order or consent, hut that such a proposal is 
entirely contrary to his feelings, and to the spirit 
of his Congregation." 

A similar circumstance had occurred in the case 
of the Carmelites of the great convent of Paris, 
who were accused of having presented to the king 
a petition prejudicial to the interests of other 
houses of their Order. The king answered that 
their denial must he helieved ; why then did he 
not hike that of the holy priest ? 

Father Elides also said in a memorial on this 
subject: "If I had written the petition in ques 
tion, (a thing which I would simply admit, if I 
remembered it), I should not have inserted the 
words touching the authority of the Pope, nor 
these, even in doubtful matters, except with 
regard to things hearing on the faith and decided 
by His Holiness, such, for example, as those 
connected with the five propositions which at that 
time many persons wished to rank as doubt 
ful; not admitting that they were to be found 
in a certain author, but openly contradicting 
the decision of the Holy See." In vain Father 
Boniface declared that he alone was the author of 
this petition, and that Father Eudes had known 
nothing of it. He even proposed to give the 
latter a sum of money by way of reparation for the 
harm done by his imprudence ; this was declined 
by Father Eudes. 

The bishops who had so often given him proofs 
of their esteem and affection, did not forsake him 
in this cruel disgrace. Five of them wrote on his 
behalf to Pope Clement X. on the 10th of Feb 
ruary, 1674. 


As the king continued inflexible, credit and 
reputation fled together. The hope of an estab 
lishment at Pads was at an end ; the house 
at Versailles was given to the Lazarists, to the 
great injury of tbe Congregation, which was now 
accused of having failed in its duty to the 
sovereign, of having betrayed the interests of his 
crown, at the very moment when he had loaded 
its founder with favours, and finally, of the un 
pardonable crime of having declared against the 
so-called liberties of the Galilean Church. 

The position was a desperate one: this blow had 
indeed struck home; but Father Eudes did not lose 
heart. He drew up a document in justification of 
liis conduct, and begged the king to defend him. 
The queen had the greatest confidence in his 
words and acts, and herself presented this memo 
rial to her august husband, who answered: "I 
have the greatest good will towards Father Eudes, 
but here is a petition against my state, he must 
justify himself, and after that his affairs can ba 
looked to." 

But, in order to justify himself, it would have 
been necessary to act on the offensive ; to attack, 
as he had been attacked ; to cite his accusers before 
the throne. His friends, and the principal mem 
bers of his order begged him to take the most 
rigorous measures to stop the progress of this 
wrong, which they attributed to the Jansenists. 
His answer was, " Perhaps God will raise up 
some one to answer the libel. In any case, I 
embrace the crosses He is pleased to send me with 
all my heart, and I most humbly beseech Him to 
pardon those who persecute me." 

Father Boniface s proposal, although not ac 
cepted by the Court of Eome, was not of a nature 
to give offence there. But Father Eudes open 
disgrace became known, and all Father Bonnefont g 
efforts for the recognition of the Congregation 


failed; be was not, however, discouraged, for lie 
remained in Rome nntil the 30th of March, 1675. 
He had told Father Eudes of all the difficulties 
that met him, and he had replied, " I rejoice in 
all the favours God shows you, being assured that 
Ubi abundavit tristitia, ibi superabundat l^etitia." 

Father de Bonnefont, however, obtained many 
benefits for the Congregation, and, amongst 
others, a bull permitting Father Eudes to give 
missions in all parts of France, with plenary 
indulgence ; this grant was renewed in the name 
of the Congregation, and with the privileges of 
prelates, according to Father Eudes hope. Al 
though the Court of Rome did not formally con 
firm the Congregation, its name was allowed. 
Father Bonnefont also brought back six bulls of 
indulgences for the establishment of the Confrater 
nity of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 
the six seminaries at Caen, Coutances, Lisieux, 
Rouen, Rennes, and Evreux. The Holy Father, 
moreover, granted indulgences in favour of the 
priests or clerks of the Congregation, to the exclu 
sion of the rest of the faithful, and even of the 
serving brethren. This bull accorded a plenary 
indulgence on entering the Congregation, at the 
hour of death, and for visiting the church of Caen 
on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 8th February, 
also four indulgences of seven years on special 
days, all in perpetuity. In 1688 Mgr. de Lamenie, 
Bishop of Coutances, declared in the act of verifi 
cation of this brief, that he wished his name to be 
the first on the list of the Confraternity of the 
Sacred Hearts, and that he permitted all priests 
and all laity in his diocese to belong to it. 

Father Bonnefont s journey was not therefore 

During his exile in Normandy, Father Eudes 
continued to labour as an evangelist ; he spent 
the year 1674, and the two following years, in. 


going through the dioceses of Bayeux, Evreux, 
Lisieux, and Coutances. 

Hia last mission was given at St. Lo ; tradition 
says that he preached from the stone pulpit in the 
outer wall of the church of Notre Dame. The 
crowds that came to hear him were so great, that 
notwithstanding the intense cold, he was obliged 
to preach out of doors. He did not appear at the 
time to suffer from it, but in 1677 his strength 
manifestly gave way. He was advised to settle at 
Caen, and to occupy himself merely with the 
affairs of the Congregation. For twenty-five 
years he had been suffering from a rupture; no 
one had known of it, for he had always preserved 
a calm countenance and cheerful manner. He 
now fell into a serious illness, which was no doubt 
aggravated by tho grief his unjust accusation 
Lad caused him. But the danger passed away for 
a time, and he said to his anxious brethren, 
that God was giving him time for conversion ; 
" For I do not know," he added, "if I have yet 
begun to love our Lord and His holy Mother." 
So far did he deem himself from perfection. 




Daring Father Eudes weary Lours of suffering, 
that which weighed most heavily on his mind 
was not his own approaching death, but the 
failure of all his endeavours to set himself right 
with the king, and the fear of leaving his heloved 
Congregation under the cloud which had already 
weighed upon it for years, and which, with the 
aid of fresh calumnies, threatened its entire 

When strength returned in the measure per 
mitted by his great age, he set to work again, and 
on the 7th of November, 1678, addressed to the 
king a touching petition for restoration to favour. 
In a spirit of perfect Christian charity, he seeks 
justice for himself, without so much as naming 



his accusers. "I beg your Majesty to observe 
that it is a priest who has the honour of address 
ing yon, one who for more than fifty years has 
daily offered to God the Adorable Sacrifice, and the 
Precious Blood of Him who is the Eternal Truth, 
and that it is the part of Christian charity to give 
him credence, rather than to, judge and condemn 
him as an impostor; I am ready to affirm, by 
every means permitted to a Christian, that that 
petition never entered into my niind, that I dis 
avow and detest it with all my heart, and I protest 
that I had rather die a. thousand times than do 
anything against the interests of your Majesty, 
whom I implore to forget that unhappy document, 
as yon desire that our Saviour may put away 
everything that could oppose your eternal happi 
ness, and to allow me the honour of casting myself 
at your feet," &c. 

Such was his noble protest. Be was a priest, 
therefore he could not lie; he was a Frenchman 
an heart and soul, therefore he could not betray 
liis king. There is no return to the past; no 
direct reply to the calumny. And is it not remark 
able that in 1674 the Court of Borne, was enquir 
ing the reason why Father Eudes. had left the 
Oratory in 1643 ? 

We have fully answered the question ; it was 
the duty of the historian, charity could not be 
wounded by the expression of truth, but he, the 
accused, was silent, " Jesus autem tacebat." 

Father Eudes wrote to Mgr. Auvry, former 
Bishop of Coutances, who had supported him 
under all circumstances, and against all adver 
saries. He also wrote to Mgr. de Harlay, Arch 
bishop of Paris, and to Father Lachaise, the 
king s confessor. In his letter to the prelate, he 
calls to mind all the favours he had bestowed 

* Annales de la Congregation. (P. Costil.) 


upon him while he occupied the see of Rouen, and 
to the celebrated Jesuit he spoke of the affection* 
which the Society of Jesus had ever shown him. 
Both were perfectly convinced of his innocence, 
and took means of seconding his ardent desire to 
see the king. 

Four months elapsed, and it was not till June 
1679 that he had reason to hope for a restoration 
of the king s favour. Three days before he Lad 
made a vow to dedicate one of the principal 
chapels of the seminary to the Blessed Virgin, in 
honour of her Immaculate Conception. Mgr. de 
Harlay charged Mgr. Auvry to let Father Eudes 
know that the king was no longer under the influ 
ence of the painful impressions which had caused 
him so much suffering and anxiety during the last 
six years, and to urge him to come to Versailles as 
Boon as possible and thank his Majesty. 

He had hardly recovered from his illness, and 
was still very weak, the journey was long and 
irksome, but nothing could keep him back ; he 
left Caen by the coach, and immediately on his 
arrival, Jane 16th, 1679, was presented to Louis 
XIV. by the Archbishop of Paris. He gave the 
following account of the interview in a letter to 
Father Dufour : " Yesterday I had the honour of 
seeing the king at St. Germains, which came to 
pass in this manner : I was ushered into the 
king s chamber, where I found myself in the 
midst of a great number of bishops, priests, dukes, 
marquises, counts, marshals of France, and king s 
guards. The Archbishop of Paris made me take 
my place in a corner of the chamber; when the 
king entered he passed through all the great lords 

* Not long 1 ago, when on a pilgrimage to Notre Dame du 
Chene, near Sable, we met the venerable missionary, Father 
Chaignon, of the Society of Jesus, an old friend of Father Louis, 
Superior General of the Eudists, who died in 1849. He told us 
he had read in Father Eudes statutes an article concerning the 
reception of any Jesuit who migiat Yisit a house of his order. 


and came straight to me, with a countenance fall 
of kindness. Then I began to speak to him of 
our business, and lie listened to me with much 
attention, as if he was very glad to hear what I 

was saying When the king had heard these 

things, he said to me, I am very glad to see you; 
I have heard of you ; I know that you do a 
great deal of good in my realm. Continue your 
work; I shall be very glad to see you again, and I 
will serve and protect you whenever an opportunity 
arises. Those were the king s words ; they filled 
me with unspeakable joy, and they were heard by 
the Archbishop of Paris, and by all the noblemen 

The echo of these words doubtless reached the 
enemies of Father Eades, as they were planning 
further attacks ; but he was about to appear before 
God, the only Judge of our souls ; and if he 
rejoiced at the royal favour, it was not because 
they were discomfitted, but because he was enabled 
to put his cherished institution under the protec 
tion of a sovereign whom all Europe has called 

His journey had been a martyrdom, for the 
motion of the coach had seriously aggravated the 
infirmities which had already brought him to the 
gates of death. 

He saw that he had not much time before him, 
and that it would be well to choose an associate 
on whom the chief care of the Congregation might 

Soon after his return from Paris he heard of the 
serious illness of bis brother Charles Eudes da 
d Houay. No family tradition tells us whether 
Father Eudes assisted our ancestor in his last 
moments, but we love to think that this sweet 
consolation was granted to him. He died at 
Argentan, in the parish of St. Martin, not far 
from the inn of the Trois Suuciers, where, in 


1638, that plague broke out which first called his 
heroic virtue into action. 

Father Ernies had cast his eyes on Father 
Deshnyes de Bonnefond to fill the office of vicar. 
As far hack as 1673, he had named him to the 
Holy Father as his probable successor. 

lu an assembly held at Caen in the month of 
October, 1679, he made known his intentions. It 
was decided that he should continue to govern as 
before, Father Bonnefond being only entrusted 
with the details. But the state of his health soon 
made him unable to do more than regulate some 
complicated accounts between the Caen seminary 
and the community of our Lady of Charity. These 
serious difficulties were brought to an end by a 
compromise which both parties accepted on the 
14th of November, 1679. 

As Father Eudes could no longer really direct 
the Congregation, and Father Bonnefond s powers 
as vicar were limited, complaints began to arise. 
^ To put an end to all difficulties, the Superior- 
General resolved to let his brethren choose his 

Every house of the Congregation was to send 
its superior and one of its members to Caen on 
the 26th of June, 1680. 

On the following day, after each had said Mass, 
Father Eudes, the fourteen deputies, and the three 
members of the Caen Seminary entitled to vote, 
met together. The Venerable Superior laid before 
the assembly the position of the Congregation, 
and the motives which induced him to resign the 
post he had filled for thirty-seven years. One of 
the fathers, answering him in the name of all, said 
that they accepted his proposal, but only on cer 
tain conditions, which their respect for him ren 
dered indispensable ; 1st, that the new superior 
should take no important step without his con 
sent ; 2nd, that in the event of the new superior s 


death, during Father Eudes life-time, all autho 
rity should revert to him, and be exercised bj him 
as he migbt think well ; 3rd, that two assistants 
should be chosen by the assembly, and that the 
superior should make no serious change in the 
temporal concerns of the Community without their 

Father Eudes made no objection to these con 
ditions ; he knew that as fur as they concerned 
him they would not long remain in force. 

Father Blouet de Camilly, grand vicar of Cou- 
tonces and a benefactor of the Order, was then 
elected by ballot, sixteen out of eighteen votes 
being in his favour. Father Eudes at once left 
the place of honour, and went slowly to the new 
superior of his Congregation, he uncovered his 
head and fell at the feet of his own spiritual child, 
humbly asking his blessing, and promising him 
obedience in all things. 

This humility was the crown of his long and 
holy life. We have now only to learn the lessons 
of his death-bed. 

He spent his little remaining strength in con 
soling some persons who needed his advice, put a 
finishing stroke to his treatise on the admirable 
Heart of the Blessed Virgin, and then retired to 
his cell, whence the tumults of earth were for ever 
shutout. He left his defence to others, he only 
thought of forgiveness, and of leaving his hist in 
structions to his brethren. He had made a will 
in Paris, on the 24th of April, 1671, concluding 
\\itli the words, "Amen, amen; fiat, fiat, veni* 
veni, veni, Domine Jesu !" He mentioned the 
Church of the Seminary as the place where, if he 
were allowed to have a desire, he would choose to 
be buried, and named some objects of piety to be 
placed in his coffin. 

He soon asked for the Holy Viaticum, which he 
received kneeling on the floor, supported by two 


of his brethren ; all present were touched by the 
words which he spoke ou receiving the Blessed 

Some days went by without any great change ; 
he received visits from some of his old friends, 
amongst others from Mdme. de Camilly,* to whom 
he made a promise that he would pray God to 
grant her a calm and peaceful death. Such was 
not his own lot, his agony was long and sore. 
The violence of his sufferings soon reduced him to 
a state of such extreme weakness, that his brethren 
thought he had but a few moments to live, and 
gathered round him to receive his last breath. 
The sight of so many whom he loved seemed to 
call him back to life, and he spent his remaining 
moments in strengthening them in those senti 
ments of piety, of which his life had given the 
holy example. At length, after having received 
Extreme Unction, he breathed his last, about three 
o clock in the afternoon of Monday, the 19th of 
August, 1680. 

When his death was known, the concourse of 
people who came to look on his remains was so 
great, that it was difficult to preserve order 
amongst them. The poor had lost a benefactor 
ever ready to seek out and relieve their misery 
with his own hands, or by means of the rich who 
had taken him into their confidence. Sinners had 
lost a minister always willing to listen to them and 
to reconcile them to God; pious souls, an enlight 
ened director ; priests, a pattern ; the Church, a 
zealous champion of her faith. 

He was one of those men " invented by reli- 

* Some months afterwards, as Mdme. de Camilly was leaving 
the Church of the Seminary of Caen, where she had received 
Holy Communion, she felt herself stricken to death ; she had 
only time to kneel down, and immediately expired without any 
agony, according to Father Eudes promise. She was buried in 
the new church, near a pillar which separates the choir from the 


gion," to use M. Cochin s happy expression, a 
friend and benefactor of children, a counsellor of 
the doubtful, a repairer of our faults, a pilot for 
the last voyage. Wherever Providence led his 
steps, he was a man of duty and of truth, at once 
the minister and the example of Faith and Par 

Therefore the mourning for him was general. 

The nuns of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge 
did everything in their power to obtain possession 
of their founder s heart ; but the Eudists opposed 
their desire, believing it contrary to his own 
wishes, and the body was watched until Father 
Manuoury and Brother Richard laid it out. It 
was exposed in the Seminary Chapel. The faith 
ful crowded there to kiss his feet. On the mor 
row all the parish priests of the city came with, 
their clergy to the funeral. The Jesuit Fathers 
sent several of their number, thus giving a public 
token of the esteem and veneration they had, long 
entertained for this holy minister of the Gospel, 
once their pupil. 

After the funeral ceremonies had been performed 
with all possible solemnity, the body was enclosed 
in a leaden coffin, and buried in the middle of the 
place destined for the Choir of the new Church of 
the Seminary. A white marble tomb was after 
wards erected, with the inscription: "Hie jacet 
venerabilis sacerdos Joannes Eudes, seminario- 
rum congregations Jesu et Mariae institutor et 
rector. Obiit die 19 Augusti 1680, setatis SUSD 

The cities of Caen and Bayeux paid homage to 
the holy priest s memory ; the members of the 
Cambremer conference composed an epitaph set 
ting forth the virtues which so eminently distin 
guished him. They form the subject of a separate 
publication from which we have often had occa- 


sion to quote, and in which the faithful will find 
further and valuable, information.* 

We have related all that is known of the deeds 
of this venerable Father ; they hear the impress of 
ardent faith, hope and charity towards God ; they 
manifest his submission to the Divine Will, his 
tender love to the Blessed Virgin, his peculiar 
devotion in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass, his charity to his neighbour, his self-devo- 
tiqn and courage, his humility and detachment 
from earthly things, his scrupulous chastity, his 
extreme modesty, and his spirit of mortification. 

Father le Beurier gives the following descrip 
tion of Father Eudes : " He was rather above the 
middle height, the natural gentleness of his cha 
racter was depicted in his features, his fiery but 
modest eye shewed at once the keenness of his 
mind and the calmness of his soul. His originally 
delicate constitution gradually became so strong 
that he was capable of the most difficult under 
takings and the most fatiguing labours ; witness 
his fifty years of missions, some of which lasted 
two or three months, and during which he preached 
every day, or even two or three times a day. His 
faith, far more than the natural strength of his 
rnind, supported him in the midst of opposition of 
all kinds, which he had to encounter for at least 
forty years. He had almost ruined his health in 
early life by excessive mortification, but happily 
the danger was perceived; before the case became 
hopeless., and by means of much rest in the first 
instance, and a little care afterwards, he com 
pletely recovered his strength. At sixty years of 
age his fresh and healthy look was that of a man 
iu the prime of life. It may be remembered that 
when he was seventy he preached almost every 

* Des Vertus du Serviteur de Dieu, Jean Eudes, pretre mis- 
sionaire. Imprimerie P. Hauvespre, Rennes. 


day in the Cathedral of Kennes, during a mission 
which lasted three months. 

Mgr. Huet, a friend of Father Eudes, wrote of 
him :* " His remarkable virtue and ardent piety 
won my love and admiration. It would be useless 
for me to. praise him. His innumerable labours 
for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, 
his pious and useful writings, have made him dear 
to God and venerable in the Church." 

We lay particular stress on the testimony of 
this celebrated prelate, because a passage rather 
different in its nature occurs in his book on Ori~ 
gines de Caen: "No consideration could hold 
him back when the interests of God were in ques 
tion, and his zeal, which was not always kept 
within due bounds, being without right, mission, 
or the character of authority, sometimes led him 
to rash actions, whose consequences were unfor 
tunate. No one, however, can deny that he was a 
great servant of God, who from his childhood 
walked in His ways and devoted himself actively 
to the salvation of souls. He published several 
works of piety full of the sentiments which ani 
mated his own heart. "f 

Some parasites have crept in among the sweet 
flowers which the distinguished bishop has laid on 
pur ancestor s tomb. We would fain, remove 
them, although it may seem fool-hardy to enter 
into collision with such an adversary. 

It is our bounden duty, and, besides, we know 
that in order to. take a fair view the eye must be 
at a certain distance from , the object. Mgr. Haet 
Was Father Eudes cotemporary, and perhaps he 
was brought too much into contact with his oppo 
nents to be altogether uninfluenced by them. 

* Huet, Eveque d Avranches : Commentarius de Eebus ad 
eum pertinentibus, page 352. Latin. 

f Origines de Caen. Mgr. Huet, ch. xxiv. page 635. 


Father do la Hue* tells us, that " the nnns of 
our Lady of Charity of the Refuge were much dis 
pleased by some expressions in the Origines de 
Caen, relating to Father Eudes. The superior 
complained bitterly of them, and begged Mgr. 
Huet to modify them ; but the prelate refused to 
make any alteration." 

We can now affirm that Father Eudes possessed 
right, mission, and the character of authority. 

Right. Father Eudes was born, as we have 
seen, at the beginning of the XVIIth century ; 
the preceding age had been a time of destruction ; 
disorder was general. No one can deny that he 
was one of those men whom Providence raises up 
at epochs of calamity. Therefore he had a .duty 
to fulfil. His vocation was so marked, that, not 
withstanding all their objections, their plans and 
projects, his parents! felt obliged to let him follow 
it ; and after he had entered the Oratory Father 
de Berulle made him preach even before he had 
received Holy Orders. During the fifty years that 
he performed this duty he was never seen to fail ; 
he assisted in raising up the priesthood ; he ad 
monished the nobles and the people ; he stretched 
out a helping hand to those poor fallen women, 
who had forfeited domestic happiness, who were 
dead like lepers ; " homines ante mortem ex- 

Now Duty constitutes night: there are no duties 
without rights ; no rights without duties. 

Mission. If Mgr. Huet alludes to divine mis- 

* Essais historiques sur la Ville de Caen, par 1 Abbe de la 
Eue, page 165. 

f "It belongs to none but God," Bays Mascaron, " to dispose 
absolutely of the vocation of men ; men can merely decide eaoh 
one in the sight of God, concerning their choice of a state and 
their vocation. This principle is one of the most unquestion 
able in Christian morality. Therefore I conclude that a father 
cannot absolutely control the vocation of his children without 
two evident acts of injustice, one against God, and the other 
against his children themselves." 



sion, we answer that no one is in a position to 
pronounce a decision on the subject. It is a 
secret between God and Father Eudes ; neverthe 
less, bis works are so numerous, and so marked 
by the apostolic characteristic of constant persecu 
tion and constant success, that we are firmly con 
vinced that God, whom be loved so much, and in 
whom he trusted so fully, had given him a mission 
to fulfil on earth, before calling him to heaven. 

As for his Ecclesiastical Mission; we have seen 
that he made no foundation without letters of in 
stitution from the bishops, who had the legal sanc 
tion of Parliament ; that he was constantly sum 
moned into other dioceses, and was unable to 
accomplish all the works entrusted to him by the 
bishops of those dioceses. And when it was pro 
posed ^to raise him to the Episcopate, we know 
that Father Ferrier, a Jesuit, and Louis XlV. s 
confessor, answered that he must be allowed to 
fulfil his Mission, for the regeneration of the 

^ The character of authority. From mission 
directly emanates the character of authority neces 
sary for the fulfilment of that mission. Religious 
foundations are made by divine inspiration; other 
wise they have no firm basis and no duration, for 
human authority has no creative power. God 
often uses the weakest and most despised instru 
ments. The sanction of the Vicar of Christ is no 
doubt necessary ; in the year 1666 it was given to 
the Order of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, 
and although only formally accorded to the Con 
gregation of Jesus and Mary in the present day, 
we know that the Popes who have had this Con 
gregation brought before their notice have always 
declared that it was carrying out one of the prin 
cipal decisions of the Council of Trent. 

We have now only to point out the three princi- 


pal characteristics of the useful and laborious life 
of the holy founder. 

1st. The multiplicity of his works. 

2nd. The unchanging unity of their ohject. 

3rd. The firmness of their foundation. 

The multiplicity of his works. It is inconceiv 
able how the life of one man sufficed for so much 
toil. A hundred and twelve missions, exclusive 
of frequent ecclesiastical conferences, and many 
courses of Advent and Lent sermons ; the affairs 
of his two principal foundations, and of all the 
monasteries of various orders under his direction ; 
his printed and manuscript works ; his constant 
journeys; his daily correspondence ; his habit of 
consecrating each year, each month, each day and 
each hour, to some special act of mental prayer. 
In addition to which he was often laid aside by 
dangerous illnesses brought on by excessive fa 
tigue. Alas ! what are our lives compared to his ! 

The unchanging unity of their object. From 
his childhood Father Elides had the most tender 
devotion to Jesus and Mary ; afterwards, when 
under the spiritual direction of Fathers de Berulle 
and de Condren, and intimately acquainted with 
Father Olier, he learned to set before him in all 
things the Person of the Son and that of the 
Mother. This holy education soon led him to 
find in the teaching of St. Gertrude, St. Mech- 
tilde, and St. Bridget, a new object of devotion ; 
the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Hence 
forth, guided by divine light, probably even by 
heavenly revelations, he sought no other object for 
his love and worship. He made the honour of 
these Divine Hearts the chief end of his two insti 
tutions, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, and 
the order of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge. 
Works with such an origin could not die. No 
one can deny the solidity of the foundation on 
which Father Eudes built. 


What a lesson for tbose who live williout any 
definite occupation, and die leaving to their suc 
cessors nothing but the sad and useless memory 
of an idle, and, it may be, a guilty life ! 

Francis Eudes de Mezeray, the last surviving 
flon of the surgeon of Hi, soon felt bis end ap 
proaching. He bad retained the most tender 
affection for bis eldest brother, and in bis will he 
left a sum of money towards the erection of a 
monument to him. " Art. XIII. I give and be 
queath the sum of 120 livres to assist in the erec 
tion of a monument to my brother, the Reverend 
Father Eudes, although, indeed, his virtue and his 
fame have already raised one more beautiful than 
can be made by human hands." 

In the early days of July 1683, death came to 
Mezeray. He asked for the last Sacraments, and 
received them with piety which touched all pre 
sent. " My friends," said he, " a great change 
has taken place in me ; now that I am about to 
die I confess the errors of my life; I firmly believe 
all that the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church 
leaches ; I believe the truth of its mysteries, and 
the efficacy of its sacraments. I ana about really 
to receive Jesus Christ my Saviour. If by my 
words or deeds I have given scandal to any of you, 
forget what I have said or done, and only remem 
ber that Mezeray dying is more worthy to be be 
lieved than Mezeray living." 

Father Eudes could not have asked more from 
his brother if he had lived to watch his last mo 
ments, and certainly, in the sight of the Judge of 
all, this noble profession of Faith is worth more 
than all the works which have made his name 

Some years ago, a Eudist, Father Coubard, bad 
the happiness of a private audience of Pius IX. 
" You belong," said he, " to the Congregation of 


Eudists.* I know your Father Elides ; I am 
reading his life just now ; he was a great servant 
of God, a worthy son of the Church ; science and 
virtue met together in him." 

No higher testimony can be given on earth, 
unless the same Vicar of Christ, from the Chair of 
St. Peter, pronounces a solemn sentence of beati 

Will that sentence one day be pronounced in 
favour of this son of Hi, to the eternal glory of 
those who claim kindred with him, whether by 
natural or spiritual ties ? 

We venture to hope that it will ; but whatever 
may be the result of the active efforts made by the 
venerable Fathers of the Congregation of Jesus 
and Marie, and the pious Daughters of our Lady 
of Charity of the Refuge, and our Lady of Charity 
of the Good Shepherd, we cannot but believe that 
from the day when he was called away from earth, 
their venerable founder has been enjoying eternal 
happiness in the ineffable presence of the Son of 
God, and of His holy Mother, who was, during 
the days of his weary and toilsome pilgrimage, 
his life, his hope, and his consolation. We be 
lieve that he shares the power of the saints, and 
that we may confidently turn to him and seek the 
aid of his intercession, in those dark days when 

* The volume of Constitutions approved by the Holy Father 
was received at Redon, on the 17th of July, 1864; but it was in 
an audience on the 19th of February, that the Sovereign Pontiff 
Pius IX., gave his consent to a report made by the Secretary of 
the Sacred Congregation, which led to the approbation of these 
Constitutions. And it was on the 2nd of February, Feast of 
the Passion of our Lord, that the Pope, in a farewell audience, 
told the Very Reverend Father Gaudaire that the Constitutions 
would be approved, and that he might go without uneasiness. 

The approbation given is not definitive, " Sanctissiinus domi- 
ims noster Pius Pape IX., per modum experiment!, ad decen- 
nium approbavit atque confirmavit ;" that is to say, that if, in 
1874, the Congregation is satisfied with these Constitutions, it 
will then take rank in the great family of approved Congrega 
tions ; otherwise it will make a fresh application to the Sacred 
Congregation for future modifications. 


our soul seems to be without strength, and we feel 
alone and forsaken. 

As we have written these pages, as step by step, 
and day by day, we have traced the life of Father 
Eudes, we feel that it has done us good ; we 
seem to have gained new strength to meet diffi 
culties and endure reproaches. 

May many who read them, say with us, "Nonne 
Cor nostrum ardens erat in nobis, dum loqueretur 
in via, et aperiret nobis scripturas ?"* 

God grant us, as well as every member of our 
numerous posterity, grace to imitate the ancestor, 
of whom we may say what was said of his Example 
and Master ; " Qui pertransiit benefaciendo, efc 
Bunando omnea oppresses & Diabolo : quoniam 
Deus eratf iii illo." 

* St. Luke xxiv. 32. t Acts of the Apostles, x. 38. 





We have already seen bow M. Blouet de Camilly 
was led to place himself under Father Elides* 
direction, and to enter the Congregation of which 
he hecame a distinguished member and a great 
benefactor, and which he governed for thirty-one 
years. It was no easy task to fill Father Eudes 
place ; but Father de Blouet inherited his virtues 
as well as his office. 

The celebration of the anniversary of the holy 
founder s death was delayed until the 31st of 
February, 1682, on account of the absence of Mgr. 
de Nesmond ; and, as the chapel of the seminary 
was not yet finished, the ceremony took place in 
the church of Notre Dame, at Caen. The follow 
ing notice occurs in the " Mercure Frangau" 
published at the time : " You must long since 
have heard of the death of the Reverend Father 
Eudes, one of the most celebrated missionaries 
who has appeared for a long time, and a most 



useful servant of the Church The Bishop 

of Bayeux, wishing to honour his memory, caused 
a most solemn service to be performed last month 
in the church of Notre Dame, which, large as it is, 
could not contain the crowds gathered together to 
hear the praises of the great man who is gone." 

The church of the seminary was not finished, 
and the general opinion was that it never would 
be. The Jesuits accordingly proposed to purchase 
the establishment, but Father Blouet refused to 
sell it, and having consulted with a skilful archi 
tect, completed all the works, to the great astonish 
ment of the bishop, and the church was conse 
crated on the 23rd of November, 1687. 

The superior-general resigned his theological 
chair as soon as possible, and settled permanently 
at Contances. 

From the first he laboured to extend the Con 
gregation. He bought for the seminary of Cou- 
tances the estate of Manoir, situated at the end of 
the faubourg, at the side of the Avranches road. 
He set on foot ecclesiastical conferences in his 
archdeaconry of Cotentin, and obtained new letters 
patent, which placed all the establishments under his 
care on a more s.olid basis, and gave new strength 
to the existence of the Congregation.* He pro- 

* A letter written by the Bishop of Rodez to the " Univers," 
on the 15th of January, 1868, in relation to the future council, 
gives a clear explanation of the registration of religious deeds iu 

" The object of the registration by the parliaments of pontifi 
cal decrees .and decrees of councils was not, strictly speaking, to 
authorize their publication in the kingdom, nor to constitute 
those bodies judges of Faith and ecclesiastical discipline, but to 
adopt the dogmatic and disciplinary decisions of Popes and 
Councils as laws of the state. As soon as these decisions were 
known they were binding on the conscience, which is the domain 
of the Ckurch, but they had not the force of civil laws until re 
ceived by the state with the usual formalities, that is, by par 
liamentary registration. It then became illegal to write or to 
act in any way against what was thus sanctioned by the civil 
power, and authors could not evade these decisions inasmuch aa 


moted the publication of Father Eudes works 
with filial zeal, endeavoured to bring about a union 
between his Congregation and that of the Foreign 
Missions, and took special care that the Eudists 
should carry on their missions as they had done 
in the life-time of their founder. He gave one 
himself at St. Lo, on which occasion he received 
from Father La Chaise the following testimony of 
the king s regard for the Congregation ; " I have 
given the king an account of the letter which you 
were good enough to write to me about your 
mission at St. Lo, and his Majesty is much grati 
fied by its good results. I hope you will be 
equally successful at Sainte-Marie. It would give 
me pleasure to be able to second your zeal..." In 
1684 Father de Bonnefont was sent to take the 
direction of the community of St. Josse, in accord 
ance with the offer of Father Hamelin, to whom 
this benefice belonged. 

Father Eudes death had calmed the irritation 
of his adversaries, and his successor was distin 
guished by fortune and high birth, as well as by 
great virtues and devotion to the Church. 

Father de Blouet endeavoured to bring about 
the union with Mgr. de Sisgau s Congregation of 
the Blessed Sacrament, which Father EuJes had 
wished to establish forty-four years before; but 
this effort was fruitless, as it was found impossible 
to agree on the principal heads of an act of union. 

In 1688 the direction of the chapel of St. Anne 
de la Bosserie, near Fougeres, was entrusted to 
the Eudists. This chapel was much visited by 
the inhabitants of Normandy, Brittany, and La 
Manche, because of the miracles wrought there, 

they were not at liberty to publish anything without Eoyal per- 

Communities used, therefore, to take the precaution of asking 
for letters patent in confirmation of the constitutions framed or 
approved by the bishops, and these letters patent were regis 
tered by Parliament, 


twelve of which were carefully verified by Mgr. cle 
Cornullier, Bishop of Kennes. 

On the first of September 1691, Mgr. de Nes- 
mond laid Ibe foundatiou-stone of the Seminary at 
Caen. Father Pinel took charge of this institu 
tion, which was completed in 1703, and blessed by 
the same prelate. The Priests of the Congrega 
tion had now a suitable place of abode. 

The Marechal do Bellefonds did everything in 
his power to establish the Eudists on his pro 
perty of Sainte-Marie ; but notwithstanding all 
the care and attention bestowed on the three 
fathers who were sent there, the place proved so 
unhealthy that they were unable to remain. 

Ill the same year Mgr. Huet gave the Eudists 
his seminary at Avranches. We must not omit 
to mention a mission which Father Damesme gave 
in 1692 to two regiments encamped on the plain 
of Courrouze. These troops formed a part of the 
force sent by Louis XIY. to the frontiers of 
Normandy under command of his brother, with a 
view of assisting James II. to recover his throne. 

The beginning of this mission was attended 
with great difficulties, but its results were most 

In accordance "with the resolution passed in 
1679, Father Blouet called together in 1693 the 
members of the Congregation in whom he had 
most confidence. This second assembly consisted 
of eleven priests, the superior-general, Fathers 
Esnouf, Jagan, Norgeot, Bence, Lefevre, Eoger, 
De Fontaines, Trochu, Le Gravois, and Heram- 
bourg. Nineteen new regulations were made, five 
of which related to the rule, three k> the 
brethren, two to the habit, and the three others to 
different details. 

The seminary at Avranches was bought in 1693, 
and letters patent were granted in 1695. 

The superior-general was always anxious to 


Lave a foundation in Paris, the centre of religious 
and civil concerns. In 1697 be made a fruitless 
effort to obtain one by proposing to pay tbe debts 
of a man named Gervais, who bad a school there. 

In 1701 the Congregation dndevtook its eighth 
foundation, tbe Seminary of Dol. Mgr. de 
Chamillard tbe Bishop of Dol, himself came to 
the Priory of Notre Dame, to make over his 
seminary to the superior, Fathers Esnouf and de 
Mauny, as representatives of the Congregation. 
At length, in 1703, Father Blouet was able to 
gain a footing in Paris, and bought a house called 
les Tourettes, (rue des Postes,) in the parish of 
St. Etienne du Mont, behind tbe gardens of the 
church of Ste. Genevieve. A garden was attached 
to this house, and the price was 3,000 livres. 

This purchase was made in tbe name of tbe 
priests of Caen and Coutances. About tbe same 
time Mgr. de Cbamillard s successor, Mgr. 
d Argenson, gave the Eudists the charge of the 
retreats in Dol. 

Fresh marks of esteem were shown to the Con 
gregation by the king, Father La Chaise, and 
Mgr. de Chamillard ; and its members took the 
place of tbe priests of the Congregation of tbe 
Blessed Sacrament in the seminary of Senlis. 

In 1704, a mission at the College of Avranches 
was attended with such success that the Congre 
gation of the Blessed Virgin was in consequence 
established there. 

We have already said that Father Legrix was, 
in 1704, appointed parish priest of St. Josse, and 
have spoken of his conduct and that of Father 

Father Blouet s incessant labours and his great 
natural ardour, now so useful in the service of 
God, gave reason to fear that his career would 
soon come to its close. In 1705 be was seriously 
ill ; many prayers were made to our Lady of La 


Roquette, and the venerable superior recovered 
suddenly while the holy Sacrifice was being offered 
on his behalf. 

He knew, however, that God had only granted 
him a respite; he nad always retained the direc 
tion of the seminary at Coutances, and now named 
Father Herambourg as his successor there in the 
event of his death. He then summoned the third 
general Assembly of the Congregation to meet on 
the 1st of August, 1705. All the deputies were 
to be empowered by their respective houses to 
elect a superior-general; the result was that Father 
Blouet was induced to continue in that office, and 
the proceedings were terminated on the 8th of 

A plot of ground named Bosille, at the end of 
the faubourg Saint-Helier, near the gate of Kennes, 
was bought with a view to the establishment of a 
little seminary there. 

The fourth general Assembly took place in 1708. 
Mgr. Lomenie honoured it with his presence, and 
before the beginning of the deliberations blessed 
all the fathers as they knelt at his feet. 

A fifth Assembly was convened on the 1st of 
May, 1711, with the object of electing a new 
superior-general. Mgr. de Nesmond had previ 
ously made Father de Fontaines his grand vicar, 
and given him one of his richest canonries ; his 
position had therefore kept him aloof from the 
Congregation, and he found some difficulty in 
accepting Father Blouet s invitation, which was 
delivered to him by Father Legrand, superior of 
the Seminary of Avranches. 

The choice of a superior- general was a matter 
which caused some perplexity; Louis XIV. waa 
growing old, difficulties were likely to arise, and 
it was necessary to find one who, in addition to 
the qualities always required in such a position, 
Lad a certain amount of knowledge of the world, 


good connections, and tbe kind of antliority given, 
especially in those days, by Ligh birth. 

The appearance of Father Guy de Fontaines 
pnt an end to all uncertainties, and he was elected 
by 19 votes out of 24, as successor to Father 
Blouet, who at once threw himself at his feet, 
Baying: "Hitherto we have looked upon you as a 
dear brother, but henceforth we shall consider you 
as a beloved and honoured father." 

The new superior, son 1 of M. Simien de Fon 
taines, Lord of Neuilly and Vic.omte of Caen, was 
born in 1664, and had entered the Congregation 
in 1691. 

Father Blouet lived a life more and more bidden 
from sight, until he died on the llth of August, 
1711, at 8 o clock in the evening,- at the age of 
79. Like his master, he had been for 56 years a 
member of the Congregation. 

The chapter wished to- bury him in their church, 
but the fathers foresaw this intention, and laid 
Li in in their chapel-. Solemn offices soon mado 
up for the deficiencies of his funeral. 

His family approved of all he had done for the 
Congregation, and it was decided that two candi 
dates from the Seminary of Coutauces, and two 
from Caen, should appear as his heirs. 

Father de Bonnefont soon followed Father 
Blouet to the tomb ; he was a native of the parish 
of Cuye, near Argentan, and entered the Congre 
gation in 1658. Father Eudes loved him as a 
son, and employed kim in the most delicate 

We have been led to dwell at some length on 
the history of the second superior of the Congre 
gation, because he and its holy founder were 
united, as closely as two different natures could 
be, by their common ardent love of God. 

Father Blouet completed Father Eudes work; 
on his death the Congregation possessed thirteen 


establishments in the nature of greater and smaller 
seminaries, and enjoyed the king s protection and 
favour. Good was wrought wherever the fathers 
appeared ; private foundations rose up under their 
care ; and we may here remark that the contagion 
of Jansenism attacked only three members of this 
compact body, and they at once openly or actually 
left it, finding it impossible to propagate their 
opinions in its bosom. 

When Father Guy de Fontaines was named 
superior-general, he made no change in his place 
of residence, nor in his mode of life, which was 
somewhat more luxurious than that of his prede 

His direction was zealous and able, but it was 
that of a general obliged to remain at a distance 
from his army, rather than that of a leader who 
shares the perils and fatigues of his soldiers. 
Perhaps circumstances made it necessary that the 
superior should stand, as it were, on a height, in 
order the better to guard against the coming 

Father Perraud says that " the promulgation of 
the bull Unigenitus (1711) provoked the passions 
of the Janseuists to the greatest degree, and there 
by placed the Oratory in a difficult position. At 
this period all the religious orders, except the 
Jesuits and the fathers of St. Sulpice, carried 
away by a kind of irresistible excitement, ventured 
on open opposition to the authority of the Holy 
See, and sacrificed the peace of the Church to 
some few sectarians; a strange manner of defend 
ing what they believed to be the true doctrine of 
Jesus Christ. " 

Father de Fontaines chief care was the preser 
vation of tranquillity in the minds of his brethren ; 
and this gives a special character to his general 

The sixth Assembly met at Caen on the 20th 



September, 1715. It was there decided that new 
buildings should be erected at the Seminary of 
Caen, and that persons wishing to enter the Con 
gregation should spend their time of probation, 
there instead of at Launay, as had been done for 
36 years. 

Nearly 10,000 persons died of dysentery at 
Bennes and in the diocese, in the year 1719 ; and 
Borne of the candidates in the seminary being 
attacked, made a vow to have Mass said every 
week at the altar of the Holy Family, to give a 
dinner to a poor person, arid to say the Memorare 
of the Blessed Virgin every day. The malady im 
mediately ceased. 

In the course of the deliberations of this coun 
cil, the superior spoke in an admirable manner on 
the state of public opinion, and on the deplorable 
error of those who were induced, by ignorance or 
by obstinacy, to appeal from the Bull Unigenitus 
to a council. He made it his great object to con 
vince his brethren that, during this grievous con 
flict, their proper attitude was one of patient wait 
ing for the decision of the bishops. 

Father de Fontaines had means of seeing fur 
ther than his brethren, and perhaps he knew 
already that the Abbe de Lorraine, whose faith 
was doubtful, was to succeed to the See of Bayeux. 
This high-born ecclesiastic had, in fact, already 
been nominated to the Bishopric, but the Court of 
Rome being uneasy as to his sentiments, kept 
him waiting for his bulls two years, and he only 
entered into possession in 1720. 

Many difficulties were therefore imminent, and 
the superior had thoroughly foreseen the conse 
quences of this appointment. 

Mgr. de Lorraine made an ineffectual attempt 
to give the direction of the Seminary of Caen to 
M. Legrix, formerly priest of Saint-Josse,* and 

* Father Legrix, ouce a Eudist and parish-priest of St. Josse, 


separated from Hie Congregation by bis adhesion 
to Jansenism ; * You know," be wrote to Fatber 
Damesme, " tbat it is my intention, if possible, to 
preserve peace, and not to allow any one, by bis 
own authority, to venture to apply false and op 
probrious epitbets to tbose wbo tbink differently." 

By an ordinance of tbe 6tb of April, 1720, Mgr. 
de Lorraine revoked all powers granted by bis 
predecessors. Tbis act did not include tbe Bene- 
dictins, tbe Jacobins, or tbe Oratory fatbers. 

Tbe eighth general assembly of tbe Congrega 
tion was held at Caen in 1722. Tbe twenty-seven 
articles of tbe institutions of tbe Eudists were ap 
proved by tbe first council of conscience, at which 
tbe Regent, Cardinals d Estrees and de Bissy, 
and Mgr. de Fleury, formerly Bishop of Frejus, 
were present. Some difficulties raised by Cardinal 
Dubois were referred to the Parliaments of Nor 
mandy and Brittany. 

In 1724 Fatber Crenlly was appointed superior 
of the Seminary at Caen, which Mgr. de Lorraine 
tad long regarded with so little good-will. He 
had to present himself to this pi-elate, who de 
murred about granting him tbe necessary powers. 
" My lord/ said tbe old Eudist r " for more than 

in 1715 resigned his office to Father Bonrnisien, with whom he 
continued to live until his death on the Ifth February, 1729. 
The Nouvelles EccUsiastiques, a Jansenist publication, speaks of 
him in the following terms : " Spite of all the prejudices which 
he had imbibed against Jansenists and Jansenism, the upright- 
ftess of his heart and the warmth- of his piety had guarded him 
from the extremes usual among ecclesiastics in such communi 
ties, and allowed a ray of light to enter. The Unigenitus com- 
pletely opened his eyes, and, notwithstanding his unbounded 
respect for the Holy Father, and the blind obedience which 
these gentlemen pay to their superiors, he had the courage to 
take part in the protests made, art different times, by the priests 
of Paris against this bull." 

Father Legrix appealed in 1717, and again in 1720, on the oc 
casion of the famous accommodation. His name appeared in 
the lists printed afterwards. In 1721 he was summoned before 
M. de la Vrilliere, (minister to the Regent,) and banished from 
Paris. He settled at Corbeil. Such was the man to whom Mgr. 
de Lorraine wished to entrust the Caen Seminary. 


thirty years I Lave bad the honour of working 
under the direction of bishops. The only favour 
which I ask from yonr Lordship is that, when 
complaints are made of my conduct, you will not 
condemn me unheard." 

The prelate was satisfied, and gave him the 
most ample powers ; be even wished him to be 
associated with those of bis own party who were 
giving missions, but the father declined on account 
of bis advanced age. 

These details bring before us the state of affairs. 
Although Mgr. de Lorraine did not venture to 
deprive the Eudists of their powers, he continued 
firm in his resolve that bis clergy should not per 
form their studies under their care. Moreover, 
on the 17th of July, 1724, he was induced to pub 
lish a pastoral, in which he engaged to appeal to 
a Council against the " Unwfeiritus" and con 
demned a catechism written by the Jesuits, in 
order to defend the faithful against the novelties 
of the day. 

Father Le Fevre, dean of the faculty of theo 
logy, gave information of this proceeding to- Car 
dinal de Billy, and the pastoral was condemned. 
The prelate could not have brought forward his 
opinions, which unfortunately were not singular, 
in a more public manner. 

At the ninth general assembly, in 1725-, the 27 
articles already approved by the Regent were for 
mally adopted. A school at Domfront, which had 
originally been directed by priests, was made a 
seminary in 1719, and given to the Eudists in 

On the 19th of January in this year, Father 
Guy de Fontaines de Neuilly died, having governed 
the Congregation for sixteen years ; during which 
Le had summoned seven general assemblies. 
Missions had not been neglected, but we observe 
that Father de Fontaines had been anxious rather 


to maintain the Congregation in its position, than 
to enlarge its sphere of action. He never re 
treated, but he did not deem it prudent to ad 
vance. The death of Louis XIV., the govern 
ment of the Duke of Orleans with Cardinal Dubois 
for his prime minister, the minority of the king, 
the dissolution of manners which opened so wide 
an entrance to new opinions, the results of the 
publication of the bull Unigenitus, the efforts of 
its opponents, among whom were members of the 
higher clergy, were all exceptional circumstances, 
fully justifying the language used by the superior- 
general in 1718. 

He remained unmoved in presence of his bishop, 
who was at once a temporal and spiritual prince. 
When this prelate wished to depose Father Le 
Fevre, that Father Legrix, priest of Saiut-Josse, 
might fill his place, he wrote to him as follows : 
" My lord, the council has desired me to inform 
you of the sentiments of the Congregation ; it 
believes that your lordship will be pleased to know 
them, and it speaks with perfect openness to a 
person of your rank. Every one of its members, 
my lord, feels bound to submit to the Unigenitus; 
almost all are Thomists* or Congruists, and 
reject the medium course. I do not know one 
who would not be ready ty adopt another system 
were the Bishop of his diocese to think it advis 

Father de Fontaines had continued to live at 
Bayeux, and to keep up an intimate intercourse 
with the constitutional ecclesiastics, notwithstand 
ing the bishop, who, however, never openly 

* Thomists was the name given to those who adhered to the 
doctrine of St. Thomas ; they teach that efficacious grace is, by 
its own nature, effective ; and (by virtue of that nature,) infal 
libly produces certain results. 

Congt uists were those who maintained that God gives grace 
BO proportioned to the state of the will, that with His grace the 
will surely, but freely, performs that which God wills. 


attacked him. He died at the age of 64, having 
spent 40 years in the Congregation and 17 as 

His heart was placed at Caen beneath the tomb 
of Father Eudes. His highest praise is con 
tained in the words spoken of him by his relation 
and predecessor, Father Blonet de Camilty, in 
allusion to his personal sacrifices: "Father de 
Fontaines does not do good like other people ; he 
devours it." 

The tenth general Assembly met on the 10th of 
February, 1727, and Father Cousin was elected 
superior by ten votes out of eighteen. Father 
Cousin returned to Father Eudes mode of life ; 
he visited all his houses on horseback, accom 
panied by a brother on foot. He only consented 
to be served apart from the others in tbe common 
refectory, when it was represented to him that this 
was done with a view of honouring the Son of 
God, first superior of the Congregation. By the 
entreaties of distinguished friends of the institu 
tion, he was at last induced to keep a small car 

The new superior thought it necessary to take 
up his abode in Paris, where tbe community had 
not yet been organized, although the house in the 
Hue des Postes was bought in 1703 ; it was en 
tirely destitute of the most necessary furniture, 
and contributions came in from many quarters. 
The Communities of Saint Sulpice and Saint 
Nicolas de Chardonnet took the greatest interest 
in this establishment. 

The fathers who accompanied Father Cousin 
used to say Mass at the Convent of the Visitation, 
in the Chapel of the English Seminary, and of 
the nuns of our Lady of Charity of the Kefuge. 

Good is often brought out of evil. The perse 
cution undergone by the Congregation in the days 


of Mgr. de Lorraine, made many persons anxious 
to become acquainted with its members. 

The superior always kept at least one priest in 
the -bouse in Paris, and be admitted tbree stu 
dents, to \vbom be gave as much attention as 
possible amidst tbe pressure of business. 

Such was the beginning of the Paris establish 

Mgr. de Lorraine, Bishop of Bayeux, died in 
June, 1728. He bad gone to Paris for the re 
covery of his healtb, which was, as he told Mdme. 
de Camilly, superior of the Refuge at Caen, im 
paired by grief. He joined eleven otber prelates 
in a protest against the Council of Embrun. He 
is said to have had confidence in the relics of the 
deacon Paris, and to have put on one of his 

The Chapter of Bayeux was placed in an em 
barrassing position by publishing a document 
wbicb, although expressing respect for the epis 
copal dignity, did not appoint any public prayers 
for the deceased. 

The parish priests and superiors of religious 
Louses understood tbat tbey were not called upon 
to celebrate any service for a bishop who had died 

The first care of the vicars-general was to send 
back to the Seminary at Caen the students on the 
foundation of M. de Condom. 

On account of the erroneous doctrines held at 
Caen by Father Buffurt, and tbe Dominican Father 
Drouin, the students of the Congregation had been 

* It is almost impossible, in the present day, to realize the 
excitement caused by the disputes about Jansenism and the 
Unigenitus, which condemned 101 propositions taken from a 
book by Father Quesnel, an Oratorian. Frai^ois de Paris, who 
was born at Chatillon, (St-ine) in 1(>90, was an ardent Jansenist, 
appealed against the Bull, and refused a benefice rather than 
sign the required formulary. His austerities were very great, 
and the Jansenists declared that miracles were wrought at his 


entered at Coutances. But these professors had 
been removed in 1722, and in 1728 some of the 
students were sent back to Caen, and others to tha 
bouse ill Paris, to pursue their studies at the 
Sorbonne, under the care of the superior-general, 
who was anxious to disprove the assertion of the 
Jansenists, that the subjects of the Congregation 
were wanting in ability. 

The eleventh Assembly took place in 1729. It 
decided on accepting an establishment at Valognes, 
and transferring the Seminary of Senlis to the 
Abbey of Notre Dame des Victors, which was 
now made the noviciate. 

Deliberations were held with regard to the house 
in Paris. Should it be continued ? Was it well 
to seek for the registration of the letters-patent 
granted in 1722? Should students be sent there? 
What funds should be employed for their support? 
How was the necessary furniture to be provided ? 
Should the superior still continue to reside there ? 

All these questions were answered in the 
affirmative ; the funds required, to the annual 
amount of 3,000 livres, were to be furnished by 
the other houses ; the care of providing furniture 
was left to these houses and to the generosity of 
the public. 

Strengthened by these decisions, Father Cousin 
increased the number of his students ; they 
attended the Sorbonne, and were under the care 
of masters and of the superior himself. In order 
that everything might be done according to rule, 
he applied to M. Joly de FJeury, procureur 
general, for letters patent in favour of the Paris 
establishment. Meanwhile, he obtained per 
mission to erect a chapel, which was blessed by 
Father de Romigny, the grand vicar, on the feast 
of St. Francis of Sales, the fourth Sunday after 
Epiphany, 1729. 

Father Cousin s application for letters patent 


met with a refusal, based on the calumnies which 
Lad constantly accused Father Eudes of want of 
sympathy with the Gallican Church, Ultramon- 
tanism, &c.* 

There were persons who watched the progress of 
the Eudists with dissatisfaction. In 1733, Cardi 
nal de Fleury, to whom Father Cousin had pre 
sented a petition, referred the matter to M. de 
Brissac ; he was already prejudiced, and the 
answer received by Father Cousin was in these 
terms : " We do not know you : when the Arch 
bishop of Paris gives you a seminary, we will take 

your case into consideration There is nothing 

to prevent your building and settling as 

private individuals, &c." " Toujours le janen- 

isme," as Mgr. Languet wrote to Father Legrand. 

Mgr. de Luynes was named Bishop of Bayeux 
in 1729. He showed much kindness to the Con 
gregation, which now contained 250 candidates 
for Orders. 

The twelfth general assembly met at Caen, on 
the 30th of September, 1733. The affairs of the 
bouses of Caen and Coutances were discussed, and 
it was decided that they should furnish funds for 
the establishment in Paris, without, however, 
thereby acquiring any right of property. 

The thirteenth general assembly was opened at 
Caen, on the 28th September, 1738. 

Father Cousin, either from humility or because 
of failing health, wished to resign his office of 
Superior General, but was induced to remain. 

Like his predecessor) he recommended prudence 
in all works of piety ; the enemy to be dealt with 
was no longer open heresy, but a powerful schism, 
which, hidden like a snake in the grass, threatened 
with its venom all who opposed its progress. 

la this same assembly it was decided that a 

* Cardinal de Noaillea only signed the Bull Unigenitus in 



white marble slab should be placed over the spot 
where the hearts of Fathers Blouet and do 
Fontaines were laid; and that the seals of the Con 
gregation should be engraved. Around them was 
to be put the inscription : " Sigillum seminarii 
Cadomensis, Eothomensis," or whatever the name 
of the seminary might be.* 

It was also decided that the fourteenth assem 
bly should be convoked in 1739, with a view of 
making arrangements for the celebration of the 
centenary of the Congregation, in 1743. 

In 1739 the young probationers were moved 
from Launay to Caen, where they occupied the 
first and second storeys of the new building 
erected for their use; a gallery was assigned to 
them so that they might adore the Blessed Sacra 
ment, and take part in the offices of the church 
without any intercourse with the public. Launay 
had been occupied by the probationers for sixty- 
two years. 

At the fifteenth general assembly, (at Caen in 
1742,) Father Cousin, then eighty-seven years of 
age, again vainly sought permission to resign. 
He gave a long address to his brethren on the 
approaching centenary of their institution, and 
doubtless recalled to their minds the virtues of 
their holy founder. He advised the assembly to 
ask the Holy Father for the indulgence of the 
forty hours on this solemnity. 

The Venerable Father Cousin, fourth Superior 
General of the Congregation, died on the 14th of 
March, 1751, at ninety-six years of age. 

His direction had been prudent, zealous, and sim 
ple. He seems to have followed the steps of Father 

* Father Eudes seal turned on a pivot, and had throe sides. 
It was found at Caen by one of the priests of the place, who 
values it as a precious relic, and will not part with it. The 
Very Rev. Father Gaudaire has had one made after the same 
pattern, one side of which serv3 as the sejtl of the Congrega 

17 * 


Eudes and Father Blouet more closely than bis im 
mediate predecessor. He and bis Congregation bad 
been often attacked by an infamous newspaper, 
called "Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques," first published 
in 1727. A Jansenist priest, named Fontaine, was 
its original editor. After being condemned by tbe 
Holy See and tbe Paris Parliament, it still con 
tinued to appear, and it was impossible to discover 
its author or printer. 

Tbe sixteenth general assembly having been 
convened at Caen, on the 10th of June, 1751, 
named father Auvray de Saint Andre Superior 
GeneraL He was admirable in bis observance of 
the rule, and gained the sympathy of all members 
of tbe Congregation. 

It is evident that the Eudists were faithfully 
performing their mission. They did not, indeed, 
lead the van of the army; but they were never in 
the rear. The seventeenth; eighteenth, and nine 
teenth general assemblies met at Caen, in 1754, 
1759, and 1763, and on each occasion the perils 
of the time furnished matter for consideration, for 
France seemed now threatened by Jansenism as 
seriously as she had been by Protestantism in the 
XVIth century. 

The " Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques" represents the 
Eudists as defending tbe breach in 1750. " The 
Eudists," to quote its angry words^ " a sort of 
congregation of priests established during the last 
century by Father Eudes de Hezefay, an ex- 
Oratorian, distinguished bjr his ignorance, his 
visions, and his fanaticism, and whose rule is but 
too widely spread in Normandy, have furnished an 
impious and scandalous spectacle at Avranches." 

These invectives were aimed at the fatbers who 
had given a retreat at the school of Avranches, in 

In 1762, the Eudists took the place of the 
Jesuits at Seez, and the priory of Livre, neat 


Renncs, founded by Geoffrey, Duke of Bretagne, 
in 998, and united in 1604 to the Jesuits college, 
was made over to the great seminary of that 

The successful preaching of the Eudists filled 
their opponents with dismay : " Jansenism is- 
losing ground in the diocese of Blois," said its 
organ, the " Nouvelles Ecclesiastiquesi" 

This cry of alarm was elicited especially by the 
zeal and ability of Father Beurier. He was born 
at Vannes, on the 5th of November, 1715, and 
became one of the most remarkable preachers of 
the XVIIIth century. Before beginning his ser-~ 
mons, he used to beg his audience to join with 
him in saying a Pater and an Ave for the salva 
tion of sinners. On the 22nd of July, 1776, as 
be was about to preach before Mgr. de Trimont, 
Bishop of Blois, he asked him to make this re 
quest of the congregation ; when the prelate left 
the church he was struck by apoplexy. 

The " Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques" paid Father 
Beurier the honour of attacking him in the most 
virulent manner on occasion of the mission which 
he opened at Caen, on the 1st of May, 1768. 
He died at the seminary of Blois, on the 2nd of 
November, 1782 ; many miracles bore witness to 
his sanctity. He wrote some sermons, and a 
manuscript life of Father Eudes. His remains 
Lave been taken to Eedon, where they will soon be 

* The removal of the Jesuits wa g a serious blow to the many 
establishments which they directed with equal perseverance and 
talent ; and the Protestant historian, Leopold Ranke, looks on 
the dispersion of this society, which made the instruction of 
youth its chief means of success, as an event calculated to shake 
the Catholic world to its very depth. It was evidently most 
difficult to replace them ; Father Perraud, of the new Oratory, 
considers one cause of the decay of the old Oratory to have been 
the Necessity of associating with its members, who were too few 
for the care of all the new schools offered to them, many lay 
persons whtfsfc conduct ultimately brought discredit ou the Con- 


placed in the Seminary Chapel of la Roche da 

In 1769, Father de Saint Andre convoked the 
twentieth general assembly, in order to tender his 
resignation, which was accepted on the 9th of 
October, and Father Michel Lefevre, Superior of 
tine Rouen Seminary was chosen in his stead. 
Father de Saint Andre died on the 20th of 
January, 1770. 

Father Michel Lefevre summoned the twenty- 
first general assembly to treat of sundry affairs on 
the 24th of October, 1774. 

His colleagues remonstrated with him on 
account of a work which he had written while 
superior, in favour of lending money on interest, a 
practice at that period generally condemned. He 
was even threatened with deposition, unless he 
would retract. He did so, and died soon after 
having given this proof of obedience. In the same 
year, Mgr. de Beaumont, Archbishop of Paris, 
obtained the registration of the king s letters 
patent for the Paris foundations. It will be re 
membered that these letters had been refused 
when Cardinal Floury was in power. 

Father Lefevre died while on a visitation at 
Rennes, about the year 1775. He was buried in 
the seminary church, and in 1799 his body was 
found to be in perfect preservation, with the 
sacerdotal vestments entire. The following epi 
taph was engraved on his tomb : " Vir amoenitate 
et prudentia commendabilis, scientia et fide coii- 
spicuus, salutis fidelium ac praecipue clericorum 
indagator assiduus." On the 3rd of October, 
1775, at the twenty-second general assembly, 
Father Peter Lecoq was elected superior. He had 
written a clear refutation of his predecessor s 
book. The question on which Father Lefevre 
had spoken prematurely was afterwards settled by 
the Court of Rome; and money being considered 


as an article of commerce, its loan for a certain 
fixed interest was authorized. Father Lecoq 
wrote several highly esteemed works on law, 
especially one entitled "De 1 etat des personnes et 
des choses," which was quoted as an authority by 
the celebrated Thouret, president of the Consti 
tuent Assembly, while a lawyer at Rouen. 

The time of his generalship was short ; for he 
had a paralytic stroke, and died at Caen, on the 
1st of September, 1777, and on the 1st of October, 
in the twenty-third general assembly, Father 
Dumont was chosen as his successor. 

This Superior was revered by all who knew him. 
His intellectual gifts were accompanied by solid 
learning, and his life was most edifying. Every 
Bishop who had a seminary under the direction of 
the Congregation appointed him grand vicar. 
After he had been some years in office, he also 
was attacked by paralysis, and though his life was 
prolonged, it was deemed necessary to summon 
the twenty-fourth general assembly, by which 
Father Francis Louis Hebert, Superior of the 
Paris house, born at Croupte, in the diocese of 
Lisieux, was named his coadjutor and successor in 
the event of his death. 

Dark clouds were lowering on the horizon ; a 
sullen calm foretold the coming tempest, and the 
Eudist Fathers felt that at any moment circum 
stances might require to be met by exceptional 
measures. It was therefore most necessary that 
a strong hand should guide the helm. The Con 
gregation could not have made a better choice 
than that of Father Hebert. We have been sus 
tained in a tedious analysis of the history of the 
Congregation since its founder s death, by our 
desire to show it standing firm in the midst of the 
fearful devastation and dissolution of French 
society, and defending to the last, in the person of 
its chief, the banner of our holy ancestor. 


The Congregation .continued its missions, and 
led back to the foot ,of the altar many who bad 
been beguiled by Jansenism, ani bad tben fallen 
victims to philosophy. It always inculcated calm 
ness, union, and that Christian fraternity of which 
so strange a parody was soon shown to the world. 
In 1784, .nine bishops, full of gratitude for the 
assistance afforded them by these vigorous evan 
gelical labourers gave their attestation to this 

The part taken .by the Eudists was less promi 
nent than that .of the Jesuits, with whom they 
continued the closest relations, and for some time 
direct attacks had ceased. Under a direction at 
once zealous and prudent, they did a great work 
for God during the 18th century. 

At this critical period it was necessary to keep 
the ground they had gained, rather than to go 
forward. But at the decisive moment we shall 
see the Congregation of Jesus and Mary fighting 
valiantly and winning the martyr s crown. 

On the 4th of August, 1789, the National 
Assembly declared that ecclesiastical property be 
longed to the nation, and on the 2nd of Novem 
ber a decree was passed placing it at the disposal 
of the nation. On the 13th a further decree 
required superiors of religious houses, and all who 
held benefices, to make a declaration of their pos 

These measures were followed, on the 13th of 
February, 1790, by the suppression of the religious 
orders, on the 12th of July, by the civil constitu 
tion of the clergy, and on the 25th of September 
by a decree requiring all priests to take a schis- 
matical oath of fidelity to the nation. 

Having taken their goods, it was proposed to 
take their consciences, but this was not so easy. 

Such was the state of affairs ; the head of a 
Congregation which had never deviated from the 


course pointed out by its holy founder was placed 
in a terrible position. Father Hebert, who must 
be considered as the real superior-general, no 
doubt often implored Father Eudes to gain for 
him all that he needed in the struggle; and 
doubtless it was heard, for he left this world with 
the martyr s palm in his hand. 

Father F. Louis Hebert belonged to a respecta 
ble family, one of whose members was employed 
in the office of M. Bertin, minister to Louis XVI. 
He was too disinterested ever to ask anything for 
his own advantage, and only used the credit given 
Lim by this alliance for the good of others. 

One of his relations was carried away by hia 
passions to the commission of a fearful crime, 
which brought upon him the punishment of death. 
He had the courage to assist him on the scaffold. 

Many distinguished men showed him by their 
marked attention the sympathy generally felt for so 
great a misfortune. 

He wished to resign his office, but his colleagues 
would not hear of it. Mgr. de Juigne, and all his 
vicars-general, went to visit him on this occa 

The king s confessor, Father Poupart, parish 
priest of St. Eustache, having taken the constitu 
tional oath in 1791, hia Majesty s confidence in 
him was gone, and he turned to Father Hebert, at 
that time superior of the Eudists in Paris, and 
co-adjutor of the superior-general. 

Father Hebert was fully aware of the dangers of 
Buch a position ; to accept it seemed equivalent to 
signing his own death-warrant, but he did not 
hesitate for a moment, for where could he have 
found greater sorrows to soothe ? 

It is said to have been at his request that the 
king made a vow to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for 
the restoration of peace, and such a request, 
although not absolutely proved, is not improbable 


from a child of the Congregation of Jesus and 
Mary. The prayer and the vow must have heen 
made early in the year 1792. The "Ami de la 
religion," says : " the king s choice of Father 
Hebert was denounced to the Legislative Assem 
bly as an act of opposition to its decrees." Com 
plaints were made of the favour shown by the 
court to the ministers of illegal worship. 

Father D , assistant priest of St. Louis in 

1814, who had often been in communication with 
Father Hebert, was employed by him to transcribe 
the prayer and the vow. He told her Royal High 
ness the Duchess of Angouleme, that these two 
documents had been placed in his hands by the 
king s confessor, with whom he was intimate. 
They gave a high idea of the king s piety, and 
might, as the priest said, be put side by side with 
liis admirable will. Father C., pariah priest of 
Bonne-Nouvelle in 1792, was requested by Father 
Hebert to make a novena in the name of Louis 
XVI. in relation to this vow.* 

In the second volume of the history which we 
have already quoted, we read, " The queen, with 
her daughter and Madame Elizabeth, used to 
spend their evenings listening to the religious con 
solations which Father Hebert offered to them. 
The words of this good man gave the royal family 
strength to resign themselves to all the troubles 
that threatened them." 

We give a further testimony, which cannot be 
looked upon as partial, seeing that it emanates 
from Henry Gregoire, a regicide and schismatic 
Bishop of Loir-et-Cher ; "Father Hebert spent 
the night of the 10th of August with the king ; he 
did not accompany him to the assembly where his 
downfall was pronounced." 

We are sorry not to be able to give the names of these two 
priests; they are merely designated by their initials in the 
Annals of the Congregation, whence we take these particulars, j 


Father Hebert Lad summoned Father Pettier, 
the superior of Rouen, Father Lefranc, superior of 
the great seminary at Coutances, and several other 
members of the Congregation to Paris. 

Father Pettier expiated by his death the consti 
tutional oath which he had taken, and which two 
days afterwards he retracted in the cathedral of 
Rouen. He published his retractation under the 
Dame of a " Cry from the heart." 

At the tidings of the apostacy of his colleague, 
Father Hebert at once set off for Rouen, in order, 
as he said, to bring back his wandering sheep. 
He brought him back to Paris, and Father Pottier 
devoted himself with fresh ardour in the midst of 
peril to preaching and the other duties of hia 
ministry. Father Tresvaux tells us that he knew 
the whole Scriptures by heart ; his conferences 
at the Carmelite church in the Place Maubert, 
and at the Irish Seminary, attracted large congre 
gations. He was arrested on the 26th of August, 
1792, and taken to the seminary of St. Firmin, 
rue Saint Victor, where he and most of his fellow 
captives were massacred on the 3rd of September. 

Father Lefrauc had said before leaving his dis 
ciples, that a good priest ought to die rather than 
show the least weakness* He was about to preach 
by example as well as by words. In 1792 he pub 
lished a book called " Conspiracy against Sove 
reigns and the Catholic Religion ;" this was fol 
lowed by another, " The Veil removed," in which 
he revealed the secret of the admission of Free- 

After the king and his family had been induced 
by Rosderer to take the fatal step of leaving Paris, 
the palace of the Tuileries was attacked by a 
blood-thirsty mob, and most of its inmates, and of 
those who had gathered there for the defence of 
their king, were put to death. 

We are unable to say how Father Hebert 


escaped. He entered by one door of a hon-sa 
where lie was known and loved, at the same moment 
tliat the son of its proprietor, who had joined the 
revolutionary troops under .pretext of going to 
defend the king, and had afterwards managed to 
elude the observation of the assassins, entered by 
the other. We owe the following details to this 
young man. Fearing immediate arrest, he threw 
himself into Father Hebert s arms, and begged 
him to hear his confession. After this was done, 
Father Uebert begged him to go to the Eudists in 
the rue des Postes, and tell Father Pettier that he 
was in a place of safety, and that the king was 
perfectly resigned to whatever might be the will of 
God in regard to himself and his family. 

When he had delivered this message, the young 
man returned to his father, who had been unable 
to persuade Father Hebert to remain for the night 
in his house. He insisted on being taken to the 
Convent of the Recollects, rue du Bac, where his 
trunk was brought to him. Afterwards, that no 
one might be compromised, he took a room in the 
Hotel de Provence, (in the street which now bears 
the name of Servandoirij) where he was soon dis 
covered and arrested with tw.o other priests, Father 
Rosey, of Emableville, and Father Berton, ex- 
canon of Lyons, who escaped from the massacre 
at the Carmelite monastery. Soon after mid 
night, on the 12th of August, 1792, Father 
Hebert and his two companions underwent a long 
examination, and were then taken to the convent 
of the discalced Carmelites, rue de Vaugirard, 
which had been turned into a prison, and was 
soon to become a slaughter-house. 

" I might have seen the man of God every 
second day," says the young man whom we have 
mentioned, "but on Sunday, the 2nd of Septem 
ber, I was afraid of disturbing him, and therefore 
did not speak to him, but contented myself with 


looking at him, and admiring him ; lie was on Lia 
knees in the sanctuary of the convent church, 
with his hands crossed on his hreast. He seemed 
to be offering his life to God. At half-past three 
in the afternoon, I saw him in this humhle atti 
tude ; at five he was dead." 

The Annals of the Congregation inform us that 
Lacretelle (Histoire de France, tome 9, page 309,) 
is mistaken in stating that all the priests had 
received communion, and that many masses had 
been said, inasmuch as the church had been 
devastated, and the prisoners had only been per 
mitted to assist at the masses of priests who hud 
taken the oath, a permission of which they refused 
to avail themselves. 

When the assassins who were looking for the 
Archbishop of Aries arrived, Father Hebert s post 
of confessor to the king made his destruction cer 
tain. On his demanding a trial according to la\v 
for the prisoners, the only answer was a shot, 
which shattered his shoulder. 

It is said that he was one of the first struck 
down in the oratory of the Carmelites, now known 
as the Martyrs Chapel, and that when he fell on 
the step of our Lady s altar, one of the assassins, 
raising his sword, called on him to take the oath. 
"No," replied the generous confessor, "I will not 
deny my faith." The monster immediately mur 
dered him, killing him with fourteen sword thrusts. 

M. Anne Guillot, in a work published in 1824, 
tells ,us that when Father Hebert s turn came to 
appear before the commissary, and U> go into the 
corridor, ,.at the end of which he knew the murder 
of the priests who refused the oath was going on, 
he walked with Ins eyes cast down, with a 
heavenly tranquillity, never saying a word, and 
went to his assassins as a lamb to its slayer. 

In his heroic death Father Francois Lefranc, 
superior at Caen, and Fathers Nicholas Beaulieu, 


Beranld Duperron, Bousquet or Da Bousqtfet, 
Dardan, Durve, Grasset de St. Sauveur, and 
Lebis, bore him company. Lacretelle also men 
tions three other fathers, named Blamin, Saurin, 
and Grasset. M. Camoussary, a layman who hadf 
been with the Eudists, and had shared the impri^ 
sonment of the priests, was among those who 
escaped from the massacre. He was naturally 
able to give many particulars regarding the last 
moments of the venerable superior. 

It seems probable that Father Pottier, the Rouen 
superior, who was at Paris when these terrible 
events took place, met his death there. His name 
does not occur in the list of those put to death at 
the Carmelite convent, nor of those who escaped. 

Most of the Eudists emigrated from France, 
and little is known of the greater number during 
the persecution. 

Such was the glorious fall of a Congregation 
which had lasted one hundred and forty-nine 
years, and which, to use the words of Mgr. Brute 
of Kennes, the learned and holy Bishop of Vin- 
cennes, (North America,) " had been the nursery 
of the heroic clergy of Rennes and Normandy, who 
who were well known before the Revolution, and 
better still during its worst troubles. It had gained 
ground and strength during the 18th century, 
Bays the editor of Father Eudes life, and its 
primitive spirit was never impaired. It was 
always devoted to the bishops, and was never in 
volved in any trouble with them or the other 

The following words were written at Rouen in 
1866 : " Father Eudes Congregation was ever 
humble, modest, attached to wholesome doctrine, 
and opposed to Jansenism. It did good quietly, 
never seeking praise or fame." 

And so it works on still, always faithful to the 
traditions of its founder, but it is more in con- 


formity with his spirit and that of its venerable 
fathers, to let their merits be guessed than to 
try to describe them, as our heart would dictate 
and as justice perhaps requires. 


The Endists provoked others to good works 
when they were themselves unable to carry them 

1669. Schools at Rouen. 

Mdlle. Houdemare founded a school for poor 
girls, in the parish of St. Denis, in 1669 ; she 
also founded one at St. Sever, a very bad part of 
the city. 

By and by the number of children at these 
schools increased, the principal one was trans 
ferred to a more spacious building than it had 
formerly occupied, and Father de Montaigu, supe 
rior of the Rouen seminary, was requested to take 
their direction. He framed a rule for their work 
and their exercises of piety. A kind of commu 
nity was formed under Mdlle. Louvel, who had 
been won for God by Father de Montaigu in one 
of his missions, and its five schools in the town, 
and two in the neighbourhood, did an immense 
amount of good. 

1674. School ofPerriers. 

Father Dnpont, superior of the Coutances semi 
nary, endeavoured to perfect this institution, which 
had been put under the charge of the Congrega 
tion, and made rules for it. Father Blouet, 
superior-general, afterwards took great pains with 
it, and went to visit it in 1690. 


1708. House of the Good Saviour at St. L6. 

Father Herambourg, (who was born in the 
parish of St. Vivien, at Rouen, in 1661,) during 
one of his missions at St. L6, organized a society 
of unmarried ladies to take care of the sick, of 
poor persons who had seen better days, and of 
fallen women who wished to reform their life. 

Some of the ladies who composed this society 
belonged to the best families of the province. By 
Father Herambourg s advice, several of them 
lived in the general hospital, while others remained 
in the town and devoted themselves to those in 
ted need circumstances and to prisoners. 

God seems to have prepared the way for this 
good father to establish at St. L6 a monastery of 
our Lady of Charity of the Refuge; the house at 
Caen contributed the ample dowry brought by 
Mdlle. Le Boucher ; but the intention of God was 
that the new establishment should be occupied by 
persons who, under a secular exterior, observed 
the rule of the order. Mdlle. de Surville directed 
this community; 

After many difficulties she went to a house 
which Father de Goney, canon regular and parish 
priest of Notre Dame de St. L6 had bought, and 
in which he had made a chapel. 

This became the abode of the Sisters of the 
Good Saviour, founded by Father Herambourg. 
They still occupy their original house at St. L6, 
and take care of the insane. 

About 1718, or 1720, the Ursulines of Caen, in 
obedience to the command of Mgr. de Lorraine, 
Bishop of Bayeux, dismissed a lay-sister, named 
Anne Le Roi, who, as well as her companion, 
Madeline Le Couvrier, had openly expressed her 
horror of the new doctrines favoured by the bishop. 

They both went to live in the neighbourhood of 


{lie Place Koyale; soon, however, Anne Le Roi 
was seized with an earnest desire to enter the 
community of the Sisters of the Good Saviour. 
She was admitted, and adapted herself to their 
mode of life, although she did not feel inclined to 
remain there permanently. One day during 
prayer, she heard a voice say to her, " There is a 
Louse for you at Caen," and thought it her duty to 
obey this inspiration. It seemed little likely that 
a pool- unknown lay- sister was to he the foun 
dress of the important and well-known convent 
which still exists. She returned to Caen, and 
with lier old companion Madeline Le Couvreur, 
lodged in a small house, (faubourg de Vaucelles,) 
where She received some little boarders. As the 
number increased, she hired a more commodious 
abode, with a garden, near the Quarries, in the 
same parish, and Anne Pannier and Isabelle 
Loriot having joined her, community life was 
begun. Besides taking charge of their boarders,* 
they directed a lace manufactory, which gave em 
ployment to the poor children of the parish. 

They soon adopted a black habit, and took the 
simple vows, in accordance with the advice of their 
director, Father Creully, a Eudist. 

The rising institution attracted the notice of 
Mgr. de Luynes, Bishop of Bayeux, and its solid 
usefulness ensured his protection. 

These pious women not only went out to nurse 
the sick in their own houses, but had a ward 
where they received them temporarily. The 
Bishop gave them permission to have a private 
chapel, and came to consecrate it on St. Thornus 
Day, 1731. 

At first, he had given them the name of 
Daughters of the Association of Mary, but on the 
20th of June, 1731j they were definitely united to 
the Sisters of the Good Saviour, at St. L6, and 
took the same name. This change was mado 



with the sanction of Mgr. de Luynes, who wished 
them to apply for letters patent, not only for the 
instruction of poor children of their own sex, hut 
also for the reformation of any unfortunate girls 
who might be sent to them by the authorities. 
But as the Procureur- General wished to take ad 
vantage of this last clause to remove them from 
episcopal jurisdiction, it was abandoned. 

The present importance of the house of the 
Good Saviour at Caen is well-known. It is con 
nected with Father Eudes great family through 
Father Herambourg and Father Creully, and the 
venerable Father Dumont, superior-general, was 
received there when struck with paralysis, and 
remained till his death in 1794, 

It has a branch-house at Pont Labbe, and 
another at Alby, which contain asylums for the 
insane and for orphans, boarding schools, schools 
for the deaf and dumb, &c. 

1762. Schools at Caen. 

Father Damesme supported these schools, which 
were established in the house of M. Davyot, rue 
du faubourg St. Gilles, and placed under the 
direction of the superior of the Eudists house. 
Father Creully also provided for the necessary 
repairs, and in 1730 brought about the union of 
this institution with the Brethren of Christian 
Doctrine, founded by Father de la Salle. 

1724. Sisters at Caer. 

The Sisters at Caer, in the diocese of Evreux, 
were placed under the direction of Father James, 
a priest of the Congregation at the Seminary of 

These Sisters had been brought together in 
1750, by Father Duvivier, parish priest of Caer 
who in the following year asked to be as sociated 


to the Congregation ; his sister was first supe 
rioress of this community, now known as the Provi 
dence of Evreux. Father James is considered as 
its founder. 

The sisters bought the ancient ahhey of St. 
Tourin from Father Lerossel, an old Eudist, who 
died vicar-general of Evreux. They take charge of 
hospitals us well as of schools. 

1724. Society of the Sacred Hearts at Rouen. 

Father Legrand established this society at 
Rouen ; it has thirty-three members in honour of 
the thirty-three years of our Saviour s life. 

1725. The Retreat of Massille, and Community 
of the Daughters of Wisdom at Rennes, 

Established by Father Vannier, in the faubourg 
St. Cyr, at Kennes, also bears witness to the zeal 
of this worthy Eudist. 







The Revolution having swept away all old insti 
tutions, society had to be formed anew. Mean 
while the imtion had taken possession of all 
religious establishments, and of their landed 

The house of the Eudisf.s at Caen was succes 
sively used as mayor s offices, magistrates court, 
post office, and communal school. 

In the worst days its church served for popular 
meetings and the celebration of decades and civil 
marriages ; the laws and decrees of government 
were publicly i read there. Afterwards the fire 
engines were>kept there, an exhibition of pictures 
was to be seen in the left wing, and tho public 
library occupied the upper story. Jn 1836 or 
1837, part of the nave was fitted up for the con 
certs of the Philharmonic society.* 

* Notice hiatoriqufr sur rH6tel-d.Ville, par Bevithe, 1861. 


The Caen newspaper of the 17th of February, 
1810, gives the following account of Father Emles* 
exhumation, and that of the other superiors- 

" The upper part of the church belonging to the 
Eudist Seminary is now one of the finest libra 
ries in France ; its interior being destined to 
another use, (balls or concerts,) it was thought 
well to exhume the mortal remains of Father 
Eudes, and the superiors-general who succeeded 
him, and to transfer them to the chapel of 
Notre Dame de la Gloriette, attached to the Jesuit 
College, which is now the Hotel de la Prefecture. 
The Community of our Lady of the Refuge, of 
which he is the founder, and which still occupies 
the original house in Caen, have obtained posses 
sion of his skull, and of a reliquary found in hia 
coffin. Some other portions of his bones have 
been removed with a view of distributing them 
among the houses of the same order." 

On Tuesday, 20th of February, 1810, the 
ceremony of the translation of these venerable 
remains was performed in presence of Mgr. Brault, 
Bishop of Bayeux, and all tbe clergy of the 
city, followed by part of the population. They 
were borne in procession to the church of Notre 
Dame de la Gloriette. A discourse was pro 
nounced by Father Boucher, chaplain of the col 
lege, and the prelate himself buried them. Father 
Eudes coffin was laid in the choir, and those of hia 
successors in the body of the Church. The nuns 
of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge placed the 
relics they had obtained in a shrine below the 
grille of their choir, with a suitable inscription. 
They could not get possession of their founder s 
heart, as it was reduced to dust. Other portions 
of his flesh, his bones, his hair, and his coffin, 
have been preserved. The Congregation of the 


Eudists has a reliquary given by the nuns of St. 
Cyr, at Reunes. 

At the request of the clergy at Caen, M. Ch. 
Cafarelli,* prefect of Calvados, caused a white 
marble slab, with the following inscription, to be 
placed on Father Eudes tomb. 

"D. 0. M. 

" Hie e sacello qnod olim erexerat, asportatae et 
repositse jacent reliquiae venerabilis presbyter! 
Joanuis Eudes, Congregationis Jesu et Marise et 
monialium a Cbaritate fuudatorii et primi supe- 
rioris. Ecclesiasticae scientioe propagator fuit iu- 
dei essus et clericalis discipline exemplar. Qua 
in Deum et SS. Virginem Deiparam ardebat chari- 
tate, verbis et scriptis praedicavit. Pie vixit, sancte 
obiit, die 19 Augusti, 1680, anno aetatis suse 79." 

And so Father Eudes rests in the church where 
in former days his piety had edified his school 

The house of the Eudists in Paris, rue des Postes, 
was bought by the Visitandines, who, after haviug 

* M. Cafarelli had been ordained priest in the end of Louis 
XVI. s reign, but when the Revolution broke out he followed 
the example of many members of his family, resumed the dresa 
of a layman, and entered the army of the Republic, in which he 
served with distinction. His brother, General Cafarelli, fell at 
the siege of St. Jean d Acre. 

The regularity of his conduct, and his protection of the clergy, 
seemed to imply that his heart was still influenced by religious 
sentiments. We are even told that he said his Breviary every 
day. In 1807 he caused the remains of M. de Bernieres, and hia 
sister Jourdaine, foundress of the Ursulines, to be exhumed and 
transferred to the Church of St. John, where they were buried 
near the altar of St. Barbe. In 1810, after having paid the 
solemn honours we have mentioned to the remains of Father 
Eudes, he threw himself at the feet of the bishop of his former 
diocese, who, after a time of probation, wished to make him 
vicar-general. But he begged to be appointed to the poorest 
benefice, and having laboured for thirteen years, died, followed 
by the blessings of those whom he had led back to God. May we 
not attribute the remarkable conversion of this priest to the 
intercession of Father Eudes ? 


considerably enlarged it, sold it to the Jesuits in 
1818. It is now a famous school. 

The seminaries of Valogues and Honfleur were 
turned into schools. That of Evreux is a prison, 
that of Avranches was thrown down in 1800, its 
chapel shared the same fate in 1806, hut the 
school still remains, and serves its former purpose. 

The Blois seminary is now a private house, 
some remains of its chapel are to he seen in the 
garden of the normal school. 

The Seminary of Dol is the town hospital, 
that of Senlis a cavalry barrack ; at St. Vivien, 
(Kouen,) the church has been thrown down and a 
cotton factory established ; that of Seez, with its 
beautiful chapel, has been gradually rebuilt since 
1865, and is now the Seminary of the Immaculate 
Conception ; the site of the old church of the 
mission being occupied by school-rooms. 

The great Seminary of Rennes is the military 
hospital, and the little Seminary an asylum for old 
and infirm women. 

The great Seminary and school at Lisieux are 
occupied by the Sisters of Providence, and the little 
Seminary is now the school. 

An unsuccessful attempt was made to establish 
a factory at Garliere, formerly a possession of the 
Eudists ; its chapel was destroyed in 1798. This 
house, of which hardly two-fifths are now stand 
ing, still goes by the name of the Seminary. 

Father Dnmont, the last superior-general, hav 
ing become paralytic and childish, was received in 
the house of the Good Saviour, at Caen, and died 
there in 1794, two years after his heroic co 

It was the lot of an old Eudist to restore the 
Congregation which had left so many holy and 
noble memories. 

Father Pierre Charles Toussaint Blanchard, 
was born at Carentilly in 1755. After having 


received deacon s orders, lie entered the Endist 
noviciate at Valognes on the 1st of June, 1779, 
received the priesthood on the 23rd of Septemher, 
1781, and went to Renues in 1782. Here he 
became prefect of studies in the little Seminary, 
and afterwards superior. When the Revolutiou 
broke out, he emigrated, in the first instance, to 
Jersey, and afterwards to Spain, where he and 
other priests were generously received and enter 
tained by Mgr. Benedict Uriay Valdes, Bishop of 
Ciudad Rodrigo. 

In 1797 he returned to France, and remained 
for five years in concealment at Rennes, first with 
the brothers Hermann, then with Mdme. Dupont 
des Loges, grandmother of the present Bishop 
of Metz, and lastly with M. de Talhouet-Brignac, 
formerly counsellor in Parliament. Religious per 
secution had broken out again, and Father Blan- 
chard narrowly escaped arrest, when the police 
made a domiciliary visit to Father de Leon, in 
the very house he inhabited. 

He retired to la Mettrie, a property near Ren 
nes, belonging to M. de Talhouet, and endeavoured 
to gather around him some ecclesiastical students. 
He was still animated by the spirit of the Congre 
gation, and never gave up the hope of re-establish 
ing it. In 1802 he hired la Hautiere, that he 
might have room to lodge his pupils. M. de 
Talhouet then gave him the garrets of his hotel, 
place du Palais, arid he succeeded in maintaining 
thirty young men there. 

Two old serving brothers of the Congregation, 
Peter and John Guenard, became cook and steward. 
A little chapel was established, and it was the 
lirst in which the Divine mysteries were celebrated 
at Rennes after the Revolution-. 

M. Brossais Saint-Marc, father of the Arch 
bishop of Rennes, having bought from the nation 
the old Convent and Cnnreh of the Cordeliers, 


xvith a view of restoring them to their original 
destination, allowed Father Blanchard and his 
pupils to occupy them, and on his death, 26 floreal 
year XII. (1803-4), left them to Father Blanchard. 
This Convent had been the place of meeting of the 
States of Brittany, and afterwards of the club of 
Cordeliers. Father Blanchard established the 
great and little Seminary, that is to say, courses 
of philosophy and theology ; the students were 
installed on the 24th June, 1802, under the direc 
tion of Father Blanchard, who was assisted by 
Fathers Morin, Beuchere, Teissier, Gabaille and 
Marie, all old Endrsts. 

Many pious persons followed the example of 
M. Brossaia Saint Marc, in contributing to this 
pood work. Mgr. de Maille de la Tour-Landry, 
first Bishop of Rennes after the Concordat, when 
vicar-general at Dol had witnessed the important 
services rendered by the Eudists. On the 18th 
October, 1813, he made Father Blanchard his 
honorary vicar-general, and gave him the most 
ample powers ; powers whose exercise was, how 
ever, restricted by a decree of the Imperial Gov 
ernment, on the 9th April, 1808, requiring eccle 
siastical students to follow the course of studies in 
the state colleges, if any such existed in their 
neighbourhood. They were to take the degree of 
bachelor of arts before commencing their course of 

The imperial government further required, from 
all institutions for secondary education directed by 
priests, an engagement to teach all the doctrines 
it might impose. Father Blanchard refused to 
bind himself in this manner, and accordingly his 
little seminary was closed on the llth December, 
1811. He left Rennes and built a house on the 
estate of St. Martin, which he had bought. He 
gave the Cordeliers to the See of Rennes, on con 
dition that, if sold, the price of the house should 


be expended in furtherance of his ol>ject ; and in 
1827, with his consent, the monastery of the 
Carmelites, where the great seminary had heen 
established since 1808, was bought. 

Having heard that the new government seemed 
disposed to restore to communities any part of 
their property which was still unsold, Father 
Blanchard went to Paris in 1814, and presented a 
petition in favour of the Congregation of Jesus 
and Mary, to Mgr. Talleyrand Perigord, high 
Almoner of France ; he received an encouraging 
answer, but no result followed. 

In 1815 Father Blanchard was appointed head 
of the school at Rennes, and in 1820, on account 
of the marked success of his pupils, he received 
the Cross of the Legion of Honour. 

He had established a small school on his pro 
perty of St. Martin ; the pupils were under the 
care of M. Louis, a pious layman, who took them 
every day to attend the classes at Rennes. From 
this period Father Blanchard s efforts to re-estab 
lish the Congregation of Jesus and Mary were 
incessant. Another project for its restoration in 
the diocese of Bayeux was set on foot by Father 
Guerard, a Eudist, formerly Superior of Garliere, 
and now parish priest of Hottot, near Tilly-sur- 
Seules. He meant to provide an income of 1,500 
francs, and this circumstance hastened its re 
organization. Father Blanchard invited the most 
distinguished among the clergy of Rennes, many 
of whom had been his pupils, to meet at Pout- 
Saint-Martin. They could not come to an agree 
ment with regard to Father Eudes constitutions, 
some thinking them good, while others looked on 
them as unsuited to the existing state of affairs. 

Mgr. de Lesquen, who had no great affection 
for the Eudists, took advantage of these differ 
ences, and formed the Diocesan Missionaries into 
a Congregation, under the direction of Father J. 


cle la Mermais, founder of tbe Brothers of Chris 
tian Doctrine, who bear his name. They were to 
be excluwively employed in missions, and in the 
care of the diocesan seminaries. 

Father Blanchard could now look merely to the 
co-operation of the old Eudists, whom he at length 
succeeded in assembling. 

The twenty-fifth general assembly of the Con 
gregation met on the 9th of January, 1826. Be 
fore its formal opening, Father Louis, Father 
Blanchard s fellow-labourer, who had studied the 
ology and been ordained at Suiut-Sulpice, waa 
elected a member of the Congregation. The fol 
lowing priests were present : Father Blanchard, 
canon of the Cathedral Church of Bennes, ex- 
Buperior of the little seminary, vicar-general, rec 
tor of the academy, and chevalier of the Legion of 
Honour ; Ch. Fleury, formerly missionary of la 
Garliere, (in the ancient diocese of Avranches) ; 
Bane-Marie Beuchere, formerly professor of theo 
logy at the great seminary of Bouen ; Jerome- 
Julien-Marie Louis, missionary of the diocese of 
Bayeux, and professor of rhetoric in the school at 
Bennes ; and J. B. Guerard, missionary of the 
diocese of Bayeux. Fathers Fleury and Guerard 
were empowered to act as deputies by their col 
leagues, in Caen, Bayeux, Coutances, and Av 
ranches, and especially by Father Pierre-Noel 
Guerard, formerly superior of the seminary of La 
Garliere and the missions ; Father Lequettier, 
formerly professor of theology in the school afe 
Avranches ; Father Cardet, formerly professor of 
theology in the seminary at Beunes ; Father 
Bosvy, formerly director of the Caen seminary and 
professor of theology, and at this time canon of 
the Cathedral Church of Coutances, vicar-general, 
and head of the conferences in the diocese ; Father 
David, formerly director of the Dol seminary ; 
Father Beaumont, formerly professor of theology 


in the great seminary of Rennes, and now canon 
of the Cathedral Church of Bayeux, and vicur- 
general ; Father Hehert, formerly director of the 
seminary at Rennes, now parish priest of Saint- 
Gilles, at Caen ; Father Langevin, formerly pre 
fect of the seminary of Caen, and many other old 

This assembly made no change in Father Eades* 
constitutions. It appointed Father Blftnehard 
superior-general of the Congregation, Father 
Fleury his coadjutor, and Fathers Beuchere, 
Boisnet, and Guenird, assistants. 

If the coadjutor should live at an inconvenient 
distance, Fathers Bosvy, Beaumont, and Hehert, 
were also to act as his assistants, giving the supe 
rior-general an account of their proceedings. 

The Congregation was now re-constituted, but 
it had not yet assumed a tangible form ; the supe 
rior-general was like a chief without an army, 
each of the fathers continuing, for the time-being, 
bis ordinary mode of life. It regained possession 
of the constitutions which had been copied out by 
Father Dufour, secretary to Father E tides, and, 
like many interesting parts of the Annals of the 
Congregation, corrected by the holy founder s own 

In 1826, Father Tresvaux, canon of Paris, was 
entrusted with the task of drawing up a life of 
Father Eudes, from the Annals, the manuscript 
of Father Beurier, and that of Father Moniigny, 
of the Society of Jesus, great-uncle to admiral 
Trublet, who lent this document to Father Blan- 
chard, in 1823. We have made use of Father 
Tresvaux s work, which was revised by Father 
Mollevault of Saint-Sulpice, and printed in 1827, 
in Father Montigny s name. 

About this time Father Tresvaux sent bis book 
to one of the advocates in causes of canonization 
at Rome, who, after reading it, expressed his sur- 


prise tltat no effort bad yet been made to promote 
tbe beatification of Father Eudes. There is a 
manuscript life of Father Eudes in the Reunes 
Library. (No. 11,879.) 

The Eudists recommenced their missions in 
1826; they were principally employed by Mgr. 
Sanssol, Bishop of Seez. Father Louis preached 
a retreat at Domfront ; the jubilee was preached 
by some of his colleagues at Reunes, and by Father 
Guerard at Tinchebray. 

To Mgr. Sanssol s great regret, Father Louis 
declined the little seminary at la Ferte-Muce. In 
consequence of a bankruptcy, he bought for 8,000 
francs the old Capucin Convent, rue d Antrain, 
Rennes, with its chnpel, garden, courtyard, and 
another house adjoining it. 

In 1828 Mgr. Feutrier, Bishop of Beauvais and 
minister of public worship, required all clergy en 
gaged in instruction, to make a declaration that 
they did not belong to any religious Congregation 
which had not been recognized. 

The Eudists declined to make this declaration, 
but they spoke openly to the minister, who told 
them to continue their labours in peace. 

The Revolution of 1830 deprived Fathers Blan- 
chard and Louis of their university distinctions 
and offices. 

The former died on the 14th September, 1830 ; 
his heart was taken to the Capucin Church, and a 
large concourse followed his remains to the ceme 

Father Louis was then named superior-general, 
and the missions were continued. 

Father Louis, himself formerly a student of 
Saint-Sulpice, sent all young men who meant to 
enter the Congregation there for their time of 
probation and their noviciate. This custom con 
tinued until 1852, when the Congregation bought 


the estate of la Roche-du-Theil, a league from 

This Father also carried into effect a projected 
establishment in Cincinuati, but its results have 
not been great. 

Mgr. Poirier, a Eudist, is Bishop of Roseau, 
(English Antilles,) and has lived in that Colony 
since 1856; in 1867, 34,000 francs of the alms 
contributed for the Propagation of the Faith were 
assigned to his diocese. 

In 1839, when the arch-confraternity of the 
Sacred Heart of Mary was founded in the church 
of Notre Dame des Victoires, at Paris, its venera 
ble director, Father Desgenettes, asked that the 
whole Congregation might be admitted, which was 

The lay-school at Redon had occupied the build 
ings of the ancient Abbey of the Benedictines, 
founded by the Blessed Convoion, of which Car 
dinal Richelieu had been commendatory-abbot. 
Jt had lost ground completely when the Congrega 
tion bought it in 1839 ; Father Gaudaire was 
appointed director, and enlarged and improved it 

The Rev. Father Louis, like Father Blanchard, 
was removed from the government of the Congre 
gation just as a revolution was about to break out. 
He died in 1818, and from that time Father 
Gaudaire has been superior-general. 

The three assistants are not allowed to remain 
in office for more than six consecutive years. One 
of them, Father Dore, has been obliged to give up 
the direction of the Seminary of St. Gabriel, in 
order to attend to the. labours necessary to prepare 
for the beatification of Father Eudes. 

We earnestly trust; that our present work may 
contribute to the success of this holy cause. 

It can indeed weigh but little in comparison to 
the many services rendered by the sous of that 


holy priest,, whose pupils have become worthy 
members of society, devoted priests, courageous 
champions of the Holy Father, martyrs at Custelli- 
dardo and Mentana, brave and loyal officers in the 
French army and navy. 

We conclude with a short account of the institu 
tions at the present moment under the superin 
tendence of the Eudists. 

1st. About the year 1815, Father Blanchard, 
who had been superior of the little Seminary of 
Rennes from 1782 to 1792, and of the diocesan 
Seminary at the Cordeliers, from 1802 to 1808, 
opened a boarding-school in his own house at 
Pont-Saint-Martin, Rennes, now occupied by the 
normal school. It was very successful, and he 
continued to superintend it, even after he had 
been made master of the Lycee at Rennes, and 
rector of the academy. 

On the 2nd of June, 1828, the old Capucin 
convent was purchased, and a portion of the school 
of Pont St. Martin transferred there. The rest 
followed in 1832. Father Blanchard died Sep 
tember 14, 1830. The higher classes of pupils 
follow the course of instruction given at St. Vin 
cent s institution, which was founded by Mgr. 
Brossais St. Marc, Archbishop of Rennes. 

The old Capucin convent now goes by the name of 
St. Martin, and most of the students admitted are 
destined for holy orders. The building has been 
gradually altered, and a beautiful chapel is now 
in course of erection. The hearts of Fathers 
Blanchard and Louis are to be placed in it. 

2nd. Bedon. Ou the 25th of August, 1838, 
Father Louis de la Mariniere, superior-general of 
the Eudists, and successor to Father Blanchard, 
bought the ancient abbey of St. Saviour, at Redon. 
It hud been founded about a thousand years before 
by the Blessed Convoion, archdeacon of Vaunes. 
In 1839 classes were opened there, and five or six 


former pupils of the communal school were admit 
ted. This institution was in full working order 
before the promulgation of the law of the 15th of 
March, 1850, on secondary instruction. It is the 
usual residence of the Very Reverend Father 
Gaudaire, superior-general. The staff is composed 
of a certain number of Eudist priests, with some 
assistant masters ; and the servants of the house 
are religious. Four sisters (Scaurs de I Espenince,) 
belonging to a branch of the Holy Family* at 
Bordeaux, live in a separate wing, and take 
charge of the linen and the infirmary. All the 
details are carried out with that attention to clean 
liness so much recommended by the venerable 
founder, and the sanitary arrangements are per 

4< When this ancient monastery came into the 
possession of the Eudists," says Dom Jausions, 
(a Benedictine father, and former pupil in this 
house,) " it was repaired and considerably en 
larged They alao built a large and beautiful 

ehupel in pure ogival style, which is pronounced 
to he a master-piece of elegance, originality, and 
victory over difficulties. 

" But the material restoration of the monastery 
is the least part of the work of the Eudists. The 
real merit of their institution, and the secret of 

* The Holy Family was founded at Bordeaux, in 1820, by 
Father Noailles, priest of that diocese, and Apostolic Missionary, 
who died a few years since, director-general of the association. 
This singular and sublime order is divided into several branches, 
wearing a different habit, but remaining closely united. The 
Sisters of the Immaculate Conception are devoted to the educa 
tion of young girls of the higher classes of society ; the Sistera 
of our Lady of Loretto to that of poor children in the country ; 
the Misters of St. Joseph preside over work-rooms, and take 
charge of the young people employed in them ; the Sisters of 
Hope nurse the sick ; those of St. Martha are entrusted with the 
care of household concerns in schools. The Daughters of God 
or Solitaries form the inward part of the association, which has 
been canonically approved. 

This mention is due to the good Sisters who co-operate so 
zealously iu the work of the Euctist Fathers at Saint Sauveur. 


their quiet success, is to be found in the excellent 
organization of the school, as regards solid learn 
ing nml a Christian and paternal education. 

" The part of the huilding raost interesting to 
the antiquary is the cloister of the Benedictines, 
which has been carefully restored under Father 
Gaudaire s direction. Its great extent, its height, 
and the majestic proportions of its dark granite 
arches, make it one of the most heautiful archi 
tectural monuments of the 17th century. 

" The cloister runs all along the south side of 
the abbey church ; the western wing, which has 
been almost entirely rebuilt by the Eudists, was, 
until the year 1790, the hostelry of the monastery. 
The east and south wings remain much as they 
were before the Revolution. They contain, on the 
first and second storeys, the dormitory and cells 
of the monks, now occupied by the masters ; the 
pupils dormitories are in the new part. Along 
the whole breadth of the building is a glazed 
cloister, now divided by partitions into class 
rooms. It is in no way remarkable, but the 
Benedictine sacristy, used as a chapel for confra 
ternities, is well worthy of a visit. 

" Its four arches meet in a central marble 
pillar, and each one of them bears a shield.* 
The wooden altar is a work of some merit. A 
picture painted in Rome, and brought by Father 
Louis, represents an apparition of the Blessed 
Virgin to Father Eudes. 

" The abbey enclosure, much diminished by 
the opening of the rue du Moulin, is now divided 

* The coats of arms on these shields were spared in the Bevo- 
lution ; they are repeated on several doors opening 1 into the 
cloister. The first shield bears the Lilies of France, Bedon hav 
ing been a royal abbey ; the second, the Ermines of Brittany ; 
the third, Pax, the motto of the Order of St. Benedict; the 
fourth, the Breton motto, " Potius .mori quam fredari." la 
the XVth century the arms of the Abbey were two crosiers face 
to face ; in the XVIlth and XVIIIth they were turned back to 
back. Dom Jausions. 


into large play grounds. They are gravelled and 
planted with trees, excepting the cloister meadow, 
which is assigned to the day-hoys. 

" The terrace to the west of the new chapel is a 
part of the rampart constructed in the 14th cen 
tury by the Al>hot Jean du Treal. The wall still 
remains, and the porticullises are preserved." 

We could not do better than borrow from Dom 
Jausions the description of the school of his 

3rd. Noviciate and College of St. Gabriel of 
Roche- du-Theil. The noviciate of the Congrega 
tion had been at St. Martin, Eennes, and the stu 
dents had followed the course of studies at St. 
Sulpice, in Paris, until the month of October 1852, 
when the noviciate and college were opeued near 
Red on. 

The situation is one of the most beautiful in that 
part of the country. The burying-place of the 
fathers and brethren is in the park; Fathers 
Blanchard and Louis are laid there. The remains 
of Father Beurier, who died at Blois before the 
Revolution, in the odour of sanctity, are to ba 
placed in the seminary chapel. When they were 
exhumed, an old man said that he had heard from 
Lis father that the venerable Eudist had all his 
teeth perfect, and in fact only one was wanting, 
which was found amongst his bones. 

4th. Ecclesiastical College at Valognes. In 
consequence of an agreement made on the 28th of 
May, 1855, with Mgr. Daniel, Bishop of Coutances, 
the Eudists, in the following October, took posses 
sion of the ecclesiastical college of Valognes, 
(Manche), which had been one of their seminaries 
from 1730 to 1792. 

5th. Richelieu Institution at Lu<?on. By virtue 
of an arrangement made with Mgr. Delamarre, 
Bishop of Lu9ou, (Vendee), the Eudists in October 


1856 assumed the direction of tin s institution, 
which had not as yet received any pupils. 

6 t,h. Missions in the Diocese of Coutances. 
In the end of August 1856 the Coutances Diocesan 
Missions were entrusted by Mgr. Daniel to the 

7th. Mission of Roseau. In 1858, Mgr. 
Rene Charles Marie Poirier, a Eudist, vicar- 
general of the Port of Spain, (Trinidad), having 
been nominated by the Holy See lo the Bishopric 
of Koseau, (Dominica), the Propaganda proposed 
to the Eudists that they should furnish priewts for 
this diocese. Mgr. Poirier has, under his direc 
tion in Dominica, a house of our Lady of Charity 
of Bayeux. This Congregation was founded in 
1750 by Mgr. Semen ; the house at Bayeiix was 
the only one until about the year 1831, when 
two others were established at Delivrande, three 
leagues from Caen, and at Norwood, near London. 
Mgr. Poirier s predecessor in Dominica had been 
chaplain to the latter house, and bad taken with. 
him some of the Norwood nuns, who devoted 
themselves chiefly to the education of poor or 

8th. For the last four years two Eudist priests 
have had the spiritual charge of a young men s 
Bociety at Marseilles, founded in 1799 by a holy 
priest named Jean-Joseph Allemand. This most 
important and useful institution has a house and 
garden, (rue Savournin 25,) a chapel, a gymna 
sium, and everything calculated to promote the 
innocent amusement of the young men who come 
to receive religious instruction from its directors. 
Many of them grow up excellent Christians, aud 
about two hundred have become priests or reli 

9th. The same thing has been set going at 
Rennes. Father Bourdon, honorary canon of the 



cathedral, is its patron, and the Eudist Fathers of 
St. Martin are his fellow-labourers. 

One word more. For twenty-six years one of 
the fathers at St. Sanveur, Redon, has been at 
the head of a confraternity established among the 
pupils in honour of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. 
On the death of a member, his family return to 
Redou his letters of admission in order that 
prayers may be made for him by the rest of the 
Confraternity. A few days ago, one of these letters 
bearing a date many years old, made known that a 
lawyer in a town of Brittany, once a student at St. 
Sauveur, had died ; of his fellow students, who in the 
capacity of prefect, assistants, and secretaries, had 
signed this document, one is now a naval engineer, 
one an infantry officer, the third a regular, and the 
fourth a secular priest. 

Is not this fact full of significance? But we must 
conclude, for perhaps we have already over 
stepped the limits of the reserve which, from the 
days of Father Eudes, has been the law of the 
Congregation of Jeaus and Mary. 


KUDISTS, FROM 1643 TO 1873. 

I. 1643 1680. Jean Eudes, died August 

19, 1680. 

II. 1680 1711. Jean - Jacques Blouet de 
Camilly, died August 11, 

III. 1711 1727. Guy de Fontaines de Neu- 
illy, died August 11, 1727. 
IV. 1727 1751. Pierre Cousin, died March 
14, 1751. 


V. 1751 1769. Jean Prosper Auvray de 
Saint Andre, resigned 9th 
October, 1769, died Janu 
ary 20, 1770. 
VI. 1769 1775. Michel Lefevre, died Sep. 

tember 8, 1775. 

VIL 1775 1777. Pierre Lecoq, died Septem 
ber 1, 1777. 
VIII. 1777 1796. Francois-Pierre Dnmont, 

died January 8, 1796. 

,, 1782 1792. Francois-Louis Hebert, co 
adjutor, fell in the massa 
cre at the Cannes, Septem 
ber 2, 1792. 

IX. 1826 1830. Pierre - Charles - Toussaint 
Blunclmrd, died September 
16, 1830. 

X. 1830 1849. Jerome- Julien-Maria- Louis 
de la Mariniere, died Janu 
ary 30, 1849. 
XL 1849 1873. Louis- Alexis-Marie Gau- 

duire, died 1873. 

XII. 1873. Aoge Le Dore, present Superior 




" In vain," says M. de Montalernbert, " do 
spoilers constantly recommence the work to which 
revolutionary writers incite them ; devoted charity 
is ever ready to begin anew. In the garrets 
or the cellars of palaces inhabited by the success 
ful men of the future, beneath their feet or above 
their bends, virgins will be found who have vowed 
to belong to none but Jesus Christ, and who are 
ready to keep their vow, if need be, ut the peril of 
their life. 


" In the present age of great luxury, and of 
universal feebleness, they huve preserved the secret 
of strength and of victory ; notwithstanding the 
weakness of their sex, they manifest that mascu 
line and persevering energy which we want, in 
order to enable us to meet and overcome the 
egotism, the cowardice, and sensuality of our day. 
They perform this task with a chaste and tri 
umphant boldness. All that is noble and pure in 
human nature, is arrayed in battle against our 
meannesses, and brought to the aid of our mise 
ries. Let us say no more of the contemplative 
life, of the sweet joys of meditation and of soli 
tude ; these things are the portion of few ; the 
greater number of devoted souls have found 
another path. They hasten to lavish their inde 
fatigable Care on the most prolonged infirmities of 
poor human nature, they break up the desert soil 
of ignorance, and of that childish stupidity which 
is often so wayward and restive. In spite of all 
difficulties and hardships, of opposition and in 
gratitude., they pi-ess on by thousands unconquer 
able in their courage and pat.ienoe, to honour, 
caress, and comfort Buffering and want of every 

We regret that our space does not permit us to 
give at full length the words written by M. de 
Montalembert, at the moment when the cloister 
hid from his sight a daughter on whom his dear 
est hopes were centred. 

In the second chapter of tire third book of 
Father Eudes life, we have spoken of the early 
days of the Order of our Lady of Charity of the 

From time to time some of the nuns -detached 
themselves from the existing coin m unties, and, 
taking with them their constitutions, established 

* Les Religieuses d autrefois et leurs Soeurs d augourd hui 
M. le Comte de Montalembert. (Auuaies reiigieuses d Orieans.) 


new foundations. Each Louse was independent 
of all others, and elected its own superior, but the 
same observances and traditions were common to 

The hull of erection of the Order conferred on 
the bishop of the diocese the right of adding new 
rules, according to the necessities of different times 
and places.* 

This Order continues its course, and God alone 
knows the good Unit bas been done by it, since 
the day wbeu poor Magdalen Lamy culled upon 
Fatber Eudes to provide fitting places of abode 
for tbe women wbom he hud rescued from degra 
dation and misery. 

At the time of the French Revolution, seven 
houses were at work, at Caen, Rennes, Guingamp, 
Vannes, Tours, La Rochelle, and Paris. 

That at Vannes was not re-opened after the 
Revolution, and tbe Community of Guingamp was 
transferred to Suint-Brieuc ; tbe Paris nuns re 
assembled iii 1806, in tbe old Convent of tbe 
Visitation, rue Saint-Jacques, which they bought; 
they were approved by the government in 1810, 
and in 1821 Louis XVIII. generously gave them 
the funds necessary for building within their en 
closure tbe Convent of La Madeleine, for the 
penitents who wished to enter religion. The 
other houses resumed their functions, that of 
Caen always holding its position as the parent 

Eighteen new foundations were made in the 
following order : Versailles, 1804 ; Nantes, 1809 ; 
Lyons, 1811; Valence, 1819; Toulouse, 1822; 
Le Mans, 1833 ; Blois, 1836 ; Montauban, 1836 ; 
Marseilles, 1838; Besai^on, 1839; Dublin, 1853; 
Buffalo, (United States,) 1855 ; Loretto, (Italy,) 
1856 ; Bilbao, (Spain,) 1857 ; Bartestree, (Here- 

Book III., cb. 2. 


fordsliire, England,) 1863 ; Marseilles, (second 
Loose,) 1863; Ottawa, (Canada West,) 1866; 
Valognes, 1868. 

We are well acquainted with the house of Caen, 
the first of the Order ; to speak of it is to speak of 
all ; and we gladly take this opportunity of thank 
ing the holy daughters of Father Eudes for the 
kindness with which we were received by them 
when summoned to appear before the Commission 
of enquiry, appointed by Mgr. Hugouin, Bishop of 
Lisieux and Bayenx, to begin the process of the 
beatification of Father Eudes. The hospitality 
shewn to us in the monastery, and the attention 
of the two chaplains Fathers Pepin and Delannay, 
were such that we felt treated as members of the 

On Monday, the 31st of August, the day fixed 
for the enquiry, Mgr. Hugonin, after receiving the 
vows of several sisters, allowed us to accompany 
him in his visit to the monastery. We felt deeply 
moved as we passed through the buildings in which 
the great servant of God had installed the first 
nuns, and our emotion reached its height on en 
tering the Cbapter-hall, where were assembled all 
these holy sisters, in the white habit, wbjch is at 
once imposing and symbolical.* 

* As a mark of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, who is the 
Patroness and Mother of the institution, and in order to keep 
the symbol of purity constantly before the nuns, they are 
dressed in white ; even their shoes are not blackened. The 
choir sisters only wear a black veil to remind them constantly 
that they must pray and do penance for their adopted daugh 

Inside the habit, over the heart, a blue cross is worked, in re- 
membrance of the Passion of our Saviour, and of the duties they 
have taken upon them. Above the tunic, (which is white for 
the choir-sisters and brown for the lay-sisters,) are worn a habit 
and scapular, blessed on the day of clothing, as is also the long 
white cloak. A silver heart about an inch and a half long, 
blessed on the day of profession, is worn round the neck. On 
one side of this heart is the figure of the Blessed Virgin with 
the Infant Jesus, surrounded by a branch of roses and one of 


The first wards which we visited were those of 
the preservation, occupied hy young girls, who 
have not given open scandal, but whose position 
was such as to expose them to great danger. 
They are completely separated from the penitents, 
and are divided into different classes according to 
their age. 

The second part of the establishment is devoted 
to women who have forsaken the paths of virtue, 
and who have entered the house by their own free 
will, if they are of age, or have been sent there by 
their relations, if still minors. They listened 
with attention to the words of the bishop, and 
their bearing was modest and becoming. 

They are called Penitents, or Eefugees, and 
are divided into different classes, according to their 
antecedents and their conduct after admission. 
The remedies employed in the case of these 
wounded souls consist in retirement, silence and 
frequent confession, and, above all, a singularly 
gentle guidance and supervision. These poor 
creatures, who have often been previously treated 
with great harshness, find themselves all at once 
surrounded with a care and consideration quite 
new to them, and many are full of grief when the 
moment comes for leaving this place of protection. 

The relations of the nuns with the penitents are 
carefully guarded. Only the sisters who have the 
care of the classes hold communication with them. 
The oldest and most prudent are selected for these 
duties: they never leave the penitents; at night 
they retire to their cells, and a grating, which 
commands the dormitory of the Penitents, is closed 
and sealed, 
lilies ; on the other side are engraved the words, " Vive Jesus et 

The nuns wear a large ivory chaplet at the right side ; a linen 
band on the forehead ; a linen wimple encircling the face and 
covering the bosom. All the other garments are woollen. The 
lay- sinters dress is the same as that of the choir-sisters, except 
that their tunic is brown, and their veil white. 


A number of the rescued women, fearful of their 
own weakness, beg to remain for ever in the 
Refuge. In the ward of Perseverance we saw 
ebme whose heavenly lives are the blessed fruits 
of the fourth vow imposed by Father Eudes, and 
Bo long disallowed by the Roman Curia. They 
are all clothed in black, and wear a cross on the 
breast ; their countenances are culm and peaceful. 
Many, we were told, are highly favoured by God, 
their souls, like those of Magdalen and Thais, are 
visited by torrents of grace. Such miracles are of 
constant occurrence in these blessed abodes; Father 
Eudes seems constantly to watch over transforma 
tions exceeding all expectation, and moral recove 
ries in cases that might well be deemed hopeless 
by the world. " The most perverse are won," 
eaid the Very Reverend Mother Superior, " as 
soon as we can prevail on them to seek the inter 
cession of our revered founder and father." 

The inmates of this monastery number from 
four to five hundred; it has recently been enlarged 
by the purchase of the hotel of the military divi 
sion, formerly the residence of the Bishop of 
Bayeux during his visits to Caen. 

The chapel of the monastery is the same as iu 
Father Eudes days ; the holy relics are in the 
choir, beneath the place where the nuns kneel to 
receive Communion. In the nave, near the steps, 
are the tombs of M. and Mdme. Leroux de Langrie, 
the sou and daughter-in-law of the founder. 

The commission of enquiry held its first sittings 
in the choir of this chapel. " On the 29th of 
August," says Father Dore, the postulator of the 
cause, " all the witnesses were assembled.* The 
members of the tribunal took their seats in front 
of the high altar of the Church of our Lady of 
Charity at Caen. On the right and left of the 

* We speak of such as had received the summons. 


choir were placed the priests invited as witnesses. 
The nuns were behind their grating, and near the 
Holy Table were many pious lay-persons, anxious 
to give their testimony in support of the cause. 
Every one knelt and took an oath on the Holy 
Gospels, to upeak the truth and to preserve the 
most absolute secrecy with regard to the enquiries 
addressed to them. This oath was inserted in 
the acts by the notary of the cause, and was signed 
by each one. Amongst those who signed were 
many worthy priests of Caen, chaplains of com 
munities, a monk, seven nuns of our Lady of 
Charity, sisters from various houses, and the 
Reverend Mother Superior of the Hospital of St. 
Louis, whose foundation two hundred years before 
Lad been assisted by Father Eudes sermons. 
Among the laity, we remarked M. de Montzey, 
formerly an officer of the French army, and allied 
with the family of Father Eudes. Many peasant 
women were there to give their simple depositions. 
One thought animated each mind ; all hearts beat 
with the same hope ; each one looked on it as au 
honour to have been chosen to promote the glori 
fication of a man whom all loved as a father, and 
revered as a saint." 

On Monday, the 31st of August, we were the 
first summoned to appear alone before the judges. 
The doors were closed, and the interrogation occu 
pied five long sittings, and lasted fully fifteen 
Lours ; hours marked in our life, and of which we 
shall always retain a sweet and holy memory. 
We were able to appreciate the special care with 
which the Church proceeds in the canonization of 
a saint. And in the name of Father Eudes 
family, we thank the members of the commission, 
the promoter of the faith, and the priest who acted 
as notary, for their patient zeal in fulfilling the 
mission, whose object is to place our ancestor oil 
the holy altars. 

298 APPENDIX ir. 

We shall now give a rapid sketch of the history 
of the house at Caen, from the 14th of August, 
1790, to the 29th of June, 1811. A similar tale 
of persecution might be told in regard to most of 
the other monasteries. 

The last act of the Chapter of the Monastery afc 
Caen, was the election of a Sister- Assistant, on the 
14th of August, 1790. 

On the 22nd of the previous January, the gov 
ernment agents had taken an inventory of the pos 
sessions of the Community, and the sisters were 
forbidden to dispose of their income without spe 
cial permission. 

Ou one occasion these gentlemen visited the 
convent, and endeavoured to persuade the peni 
tents that they had been forcibly detained, and 
that they had now come to give them liberty. 
But these supposed captives, to the number of 52, 
obstinately refused to avail themselves of the pre 
ferred freedom. 

On the 20th of April notice was received that 
the possessions of the Community were advertised 
for sale, and on the 17th of December the magis 
trates of the town ordered the suppression of the 
house ; but, on the 4t,h of January, 1793, a fresh 
decree maintained it as a charitable institution. 
The same magistrates required the nuns to appear 
in the chapter-house, and take the oath of allegi 
ance to the Constitution. 

But, notwithstanding all offers of favour, they 
followed the example of their chaplain Father 
Godefroy, and declined to take it. 

In consequence of a decree of the Assembly for 
the evacuation of all suppressed convents before 
the 2nd of October, worship was discontinued ; the 
house was occupied by soldiers, and the sacristy 
was made their guard-room. 

On the 16th of August the commissioners of the 
district summoned the nuns, and informed them 


of the decree by which they were required to leave 
their house. There was no alternative but sub 
mission, and on the 19th, the anniversary of 
Father Eudes death, these holy women departed. 

The community at the Hotel Dieu subsisted for 
gome time longer, and several of the Caen nuns 
found a shelter there; others returned to their 
own families, or took lodgings ill private houses, 
and waited for better times. 

The superior, Mother Mary .of St. Michael 
Picard, had obtained permission to undertake the 
care of the aged and hi firm nuns, who were without 
relations or means of support, and to keep with 
her as her assistant one of the young sisters. She 
selected Sinter Mary of Saint Dosithea Bourdon, 
who continued to devote herself to her beloved 
companions, and at last succeeded ill bringing 
them back to their former home. 

The superior and the remnant of the community 
took refuge in an apartment on the third floor, 
rue du Puits-es-Boltes, and notwithstanding the 
cruel hardships they had to undergo, continued, as 
far as possible, faithful to their rule. 

So passed the year 1793. 

In 1794, having received information that they 
had been denounced to the club, and would soon 
be imprisoned, they accepted the hospitality 
offered by a farmer living at Lebisey, a hamlet 
near Caen. He had already rendered them ser 
vice, and was considered a good patriot. They 
left their furniture in the charge of some friends, 
and the poor infirm nuns were carried one by one 
on a donkey to their asylum, a miserable bam 
where their only bed was straw. 

Young Sister Dosithea laboured night and day 
with redoubled care and zeal to procure means of 
support for her companions; to make matters 
worse, it was a season of dearth ; God only knows 
how she was able to accomplish her task. 


By and by, the death of Robespierre gave 
breathing-time to these poor sufferers. The corn- 
En unity returned to Caen, and hired a house in St. 
Gilles, where some more of the dispersed sisters of 
the order joined them. 

In 1795 the persecution again broke out, but 
the courage and presence of miud of the good 
Sister Mary of Saint Dosithea saved the commu 
nity. She not only contrived to conceal the priests 
to \vhom the convent from time to time gave 
shelter, but also saved the sacred vestments, 
although the nuns were suspected of having hiddeu 

The cross was very heavy at this period. The 
prioress and one of the nuns were imprisoned, but 
after three months Sister Mary of Saint Dosithea 
succeeded in obtaining their liberation. For this 
purpose she had recourse to the most extreme 
measures. She persuaded the poor old nuns, who 
looked on her as their guardian angel, to get into 
a cart, and took them to the municipal court, once 
a Eudist seminary; presenting herself to the 
astonished authorities, she said : "I have brought 
your our infirm sisters ; I am no longer able to 
provide for them ; after removing the two sisters 
who assisted me, you have sent me soldiers to 
lodge. Being alone, I am not able to take care of 
them and earn bread for them." 

" Very well," answered the municipal authori 
ties, " we will put them in prison." 

" So you may, citizens, for at least you will feed 
them there." The authorities, embarrassed by 
the young sister s answers, and perhaps touched by 
an involuntary sentiment of admiration for her 
courage, ended by saying, " Tnke back your good 
women, citizen, we will attend to your request." 

The soldiers were sent away, and the impri 
soned nuns soon rejoined their companions. 

In 17%, the pensions promised to the sisters 


were paid, nnd several families who were anxious 
that their children should receive a Christian edu 
cation, urged them to open a small hoarding- 
school. For tin s purpose they hired a second 
house, the first was called la Grande Charite, 
and the second, which was very near it, la Petite 
Charite. The sisters of our comrade, General de 
Malherhe de Bayeux, who distinguished himself at 
the siege of Sebastopol, still cherish the memory 
of this establishment and of their former teachers. 

In 1800, hetter days dawned upon the good 
Bisters. The hoarding-school at la Petite Charite 
flourished, and some worthy priests who had 
returned from exile assisted them in their work and 
gave lessons to their pupils. They thus fulfilled, 
as far as in them lay, that fourth vow hy which 
they are distinguished from all other religious 

In 1802, Father Cousin, an ancient Eudist, and 
superior of the house at Lisieux, was chaplain to 
]a Grande Charite, and another priest, uncle of 
the first mistress, lived at la Petite Charite, and 
was most useful in arranging the difficulties which 
constantly arose in those days. In the same year 
Mgr. Brault having been appointed to the bishopric 
of Bayeux, came to visit them, and promised to 
protect them in every way. 

Correspondence with other houses of the order 
had been entirely interrupted during the troubled 
days of the Revolution, it was now resumed, espe 
cially with those of Paris, La Rochelle, and Guin- 

The approbation of government was given to the 
monastery in Paris in 1803. The Caen sisters 
hoped now to enter into the promised land, but the 
good Mother Mary of St. Michael Picard was only 
allowed, like Moses, to see it in the distance. 

Mgr. de Bayeux consented to a new election. 

Mother Mary of St. Aloysius Desbouillons 


Lad returned to her family in 1790. She wag 
much beloved, and employed her fortune iu as 
sisting her poor companions, and relieving the 
many miseries common in those sad times. She 
was chosen superior, and as soon as the tidings 
of her election reached her, she left the com 
forts of her home and went to share the poverty 
and trials of her sisters in religion. Many sub 
jects presented themselves, and she soon formed a 
noviciate. At the same time she took measures 
for the legal re-establishment of the order, which 
was attended with many difficulties, inasmuch as 
the government wished to impose statutes which 
might clash with the rule. 

The old convent, in the rue des Qnais, had been 
turned into a barrack, and was generally occupied 
by 1,500 or 2,000 soldiers. The superior was 
advised to seek to settle the community elsewhere; 
many old religious houses then vacant were in 
spected with this view, but it seemed as if the 
good mothers could not sing the songs of Sion in 
a strange land. 

They therefore waited. 

In 1805 and 1806 many efforts were made to 
obtain the restitution of the old house and legal 
approbation; but, notwithstanding the good will 
of the authorities, fresh difficulties constantly 

1807 was an eventful year. In 1805 vows had 
been prohibited, nevertheless, the superior and the 
council did not think it right to dismiss their 
novices, and in January three professions took 
place, the first made since 1785. 

Sister Mary of Saint Dosithea was sent to 
Paris to make fresh efforts. She was furnished 
with many letters of recommendation; M. Portulis, 
the minister of worship, had a great esteem for 
her, and the emperor s mother took her under 
her special protection; it also happened at 


this time, by the permission of Providence, that 
some of the soldiers occupying the convent at Caen 
fell ill, the minister of war therefore decided that 
it should be abandoned; and on the 18th of 
September, 1807, the emperor signed a decree 
\vhicb. restored to the community as much of the 
ancient building as had not been sold. It was in 
a state of complete dilapidation, when twenty-nine 
sisters returned on the 29th of September, 1808 ; 
sixteen had died during the Revolution, and a few 
never rejoined the order. 

The great question of legal re-establishment still 

The government wished to form all religious 
women into two great orders, each of which was to 
be ruled by a superior-general. 

The communities then in process of reconstruc 
tion were invited to send representatives to a 
chapter-general, to be held on the 13th of October,* 
1807. Sister Mary of Saint Dosithea Bourdon 
was again chosen to maintain the rights and in 
terests of the house at Caen. The mission was a 
delicate one, but she performed it with a wisdom 
and firmness which influenced her most obstinate 

At length, qn the 29th of June, 1811, Napoleon 
signed a decree re-establishing the order, and 
authorizing its statutes as drawn up by the venera 
ble founder. Successful opposition was made by 

* By a decree of the 30th of September, 1807, Napoleon sum 
moned a general Chapter of all the religious orders devoted to 
the care of the poor. This Chapter was to be held in Paris, in 
the palace of his mother, who was to preside, and to be assisted 
by the Abbe de Boulogne, high almoner of the Emperor, and 
eecretary. Each establishment was to send a representative 
well acquainted with its circumstances and requirements. 

The Emperor s principal ostensible object was the adoption 
of the best means tor the spread and efficiency of these institu 

The hidden object was to establish unity of direction ; a unity 
incompatible with some of their constitutions. 


the nuns to certain articles contrary to the primi 
tive constitutions of their order. 

And so, notwithstanding the fearful storm which 
liad changed the whole face of society, the first 
Community of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge 
lived on, preserving the precious trust committed 
to it hy Father Elides, and showing what can he 
done hy perseverance founded upon faith and con 
fidence in God. 

Sister Saint Dosithea Bourdon, the heroine of 
these trouhlous times, was superior of the con 
vent at Caen from 1819 to 1821. 

One spirit animates all the monasteries of the 
order; the other houses constantly turn to the one 
founded by Father Elides himself for support and 
advice. If space permitted us to quote largely 
from their annals, we could give many most in 
teresting details. 

A new building was necessary at the convent of 
St. Cyr, at Rennet*, hut the community had no 
funds to undertake it; the parish priest made the 
matter known, and immediately a poor woman 
came to the Reverend Mother Superior, Madame 
de Saint Pierre, with an offering of ten centimes, 
(about one penny). Encouraged by this circum 
stance, she sent for the architect and the builders, 
and soon their labours were completed and all ex 
penses paid. 

The order of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge 
is known and respected throughout the world. 

After an existence of one hundred and ninety-four 
years it sent forth a vigorous shoot, which has 
since borne many branches ; we allude to the 
Order of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shep 
herd, formally recognized on the 16th of January, 
183;"), by the Sovereign Pontiff, Gregory XVI. 
It possesses 110 monasteries in different parts of 
the world, of which we Mini 11 give a list. 

There are some exceptional natures which would 


be stifled in a narrow circle, for their moral force 
requires ail extended sphere of action ; when this 
exuberant moral force is curbed by the great virtue 
of chanty, it becomes a mighty agent for the 
regeneration of lost souls. 

Rose-Virginie Pelletier, called in religion Mary 
of Saint Euphrasia, was born at Noirmontiers, 
on the 31st of July, 1796. Her father died during 
her early childhood, and she was placed by her 
mother in an excellent school at Tours, kept by 
Madame Choblet, and situated near the monastery 
of our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, which had 
been founded in 1714, and restored after the 
French Revolution. 

She was soon remarked for her goodness, and 
spent a year under the cure of one of the principal 
mistresses, Mdrne. de Lignuc, afterwards Superior 
of the Ursulines at Tours. This venerable nun 
has kindly favoured us with the following letter, 
regarding the youth of the pupil whom she sur 

vives : 

I did not know Sister St. Euphrasia in her 
very early childhood ; her good mother Madame 
Pelletier, brought her at the age of 14 to Madame 
Choblet s ; one or two years later I was appointed 
mistress of her class, and it was easy to see that 
she was a most promising pupil. She told me of 
her desire to be a nun, and I advised her to weigh 
the matter well before speaking to her guardian 
and her sister, for by this time she had lost her 
pious mother. Soon afterwards I left this house 
to become an Ursuline, and young Virginia Pelle 
tier went to the Sisters of the Refuge, who then 
lived very near Mdme. de Choblet s house. This 
dear pupil was only a year under my care ; but I 
bad time to observe that her chief attraction was 
burning zeal, and I saw the beginning of her apos- 
tolate. While her companions were thinking but 
little of preparing for the great feast of Pentecost, 


she begged my permission to speak during recrea 
tion to some of the most thoughtless ; she then 
took two of the best girls into her confidence, and 
the three began their mission. I admired their 
work in silence, and encouraged them privately; 
at. the end of a week the whole household saw a 
wonderful change in many young persons, who 
were much older than the three apostles. I really 
believe that the grace of their Confirmation then 
took its full effect, and their good dispositions 
continued throughout the whole year. From this 
time I foresaw that Mile. Virginie Pelletier might 
do wonderful good ; therefore, I was by no means 
astonished at the success of her undertakings, and 
to the end of her life we were united by the closest 
friendship. I pray most earnestly for the con 
tinuance of her good works, which have hitherto 
been so flourishing and so much blessed by God." 

This testimony is of great value ; Mdme. de 
Lignac is a venerable religious, whose pupils form 
the joy of their families, and as matrons are dis 
tinguished by their Christian virtues. 

She was persuaded that Virgiuie Pelletier was 
gifted with that genius which, when devoted to 
God, produces great things. 

Tins young girl had been brought up by the 
sea-side, and the conflicts of the elements seem to 
Lave left their impress on her imagination. She 
soon learned to look upon life as a battle, in which 
those who would be victorious must never look 
backwards, never be discouraged, and must, after 
any check, resume their task with the calm tena 
city characteristic of great founders. 

Mdme. de Lignac has told us, that while yet a 
young girl Virginie Pelletier longed for cloister- 
life, little as it seemed in accordance with her 
natural disposition. She was attracted by the 
white sisters, whom she had seen from time to 
time, and on the evening of the 20th of October, 


1814, at the age of 18, she left Lflr school, and 
went to seek admission into the Community of 
onr Lady of Charity of the Refuge. Mother Mary 
of St. Joseph, the superior, received her gladly, 
but her guardian, not approving her decision, or 
at least wishing to put it, to the test, her clothing 
was delayed until the 8th of September, 1815. 
She took the name of Mary of St. Euphrasia, was 
professed on the 9th of September, 1817, became 
mistress of the penitents, and before she had 
reached the age required hy the constitutions, a 
dispensation was granted enabling her to succeed 
Mother Mary Saiut-Hippolytus de Bottemillieau 
as superior. 

She was only twenty-nine, and her election was 
unanimous. She soon set to work to increase the 
number of penitents, and founded in her monas 
tery a class of Magdalens, which still continues to 
produce most abundant and happy results. 

What were, at this time, the projects and 
thoughts of the remarkable woman, who had so 
wondrous a power of forming other souls after her 
own likeness ? 

They travelled through the whole world, and 
turned with special interest to countries where 
new sects were proclaiming those principles of 
liberty and communism, which bring man, the 
image of God, down to the level of irrational 

She could do anything inside the cloister walls, 
but beyond them she had no power. 

It seems probable that she now conceived the 
plan of a vast system for the diffusion of divine 
mercy, by means of a Generalate, although she 
knew not whether it would ever be in her power to 
carry it out. 

The work of the Good Shepherd was among 
those which occupied the last years of Mgr. Mon- 
tault-des-Iles, Bishop of Angers. In 1829, he 


sent several of Lis priests to Tours, to beg Sister 
Mary of Saint-Euphrasia to come and found a 
refuge for penitents in bis episcopal city ; sbe 
gladly acceded to bis wishes, and went with some 
of her nuns to Augers for the purpose. 

Madame Inuocente-Jeaune-Baptiste de Lentivi, 
widow of M. Le Roy de la Potherie de Neuville, 
was well known at Augers for her inexhaustible 
charity. She felt for every kind of distress, but 
none touched ber heart more than that of poor 
women, who had been led astray by weakness or 
by want. 

Her experience coincided with that of Father 
Eudes; isolated cases of success were followed by 
hopeless relapses, and at last she became anxious 
to restore tbe ancient establishment of the Good 
Shepherd, which had existed before the He volu 
tion in the rue Saint-Nicolas at Augers. God 
called her to Himself before she had been able to 
carry her design into execution, but she left a 
sum of 30,000 francs for the purpose. Tins 
money was immediately paid by her son Comte 
Augustin de Neuville, to Mgr. Montault, and the 
priests of the town, who hoped much from tbe 
effects of this good work, added their contribu 

An old manufactory, situated on the banks of 
the Maine, near the parish church of St. Jacques, 
was bought, and here Mother Mary of St. Euphra- 
sia established her companions. After having set 
things in order, she returned to her monastery at 
Tours to finish her second triennium as superior. 
The priests of Angers, who had had the oppor 
tunity of appreciating her great virtues and her 
uncommon administrative abilities, were averse to 
her departure ; three of them even went to Tours 
to obtain the bishop s permission to keep her, but 
Lis vicar-general represented to them that the 


Community there liad a riglit to reclaim her, as 
she bad not completed her period of office. 

Mother Mary of St. Euphrasia established en 
closure at the monastery of Angers, on the 31st of 
July, 1829, her birthday. The direction of the 
house was then entrusted to Mother Mary of 
Saint-Paul Baudin, who, while acknowledging the 
inferiority of her abilities to those of Mother Mary 
of St. Euphrasia, continued the work she had 

Mother Mary of St. Euphrasia completed her 
second term of office as superior at Tours, on the 
Feast of the Ascension, 1831. 

Mother Mary of Saint-Paul Baudin was elected 
as her successor, and she was appointed Superior 
at Angers. 

Accordingly, the Archbishop of Tours desired 
his vicar-general to draw up an obedience for her ; 
this holy priest predicted that the house at Angers, 
whose situation was then so precarious, would be 
come the most considerable of the order. The 
Archbishop of Tours signed the exeat without 
reading it ; it was given for an unlimited time, and 
became a valid title* und principle of prosperity. 
Mgr. Montault was now able to keep the good 
mother without infringing the prerogatives of the 
Archbishop of Tours, who, however, could hardly 
be brought to believe that he had implicitly and 
actually given up his rights over her. 

But the parting was bitter; Mdme. de Lignac, 
at tins time Superior of the Ursulines, witnessed 
the anguish of her former pupil, who was almost 
ready to draw back when Father Pasquier sum 
moned her, and admonished her in words which 
seemed inspired by God, to restore her strength 
and courage. " Go to Angers," he added, "God 

* TMsIobedience is preserved in the Mother-House, at Angers. 


will perform great tilings for His own glory by 
your means."* 

Oil the following day, May 21st, 1831, Mother 
Mary of St. Eupbrasia, accompanied by Mother 
St. Philip Mercier, went to the monastery of 
Angers, never more to leave it. 

The intelligent direction of the new superior 
gave fresh life to the house. Penitents came in 
such numbers that the holy daughters of Father 
Eudes were obliged to suffer the greatest priva 
tions. One day they had nothing for dinner until 
one of the priests of the town sent them his own 

Their generous devotion did not remain unre 
warded; the Comte de Neuville, who had no direct 
heir, determined to devote his whole fortune to 
the furtherance of this noble work. 

Madame Cesbron de la Roche, a widow lady who 
lived at Angers, entered the order, and was fol 
lowed by the Countess of Couespel. They both 
were appointed assistants, and became benefactors 
of the house, and valuable supporters of Mother 
Mary of St. Euphrasia. 

Among the greatest friends of the monastery of 
Tours was the Countess d Andigne-Villequier ; 
she had a special affection for Mother Mary of 
St. Euphrasia, and on the 21st of November, 
1833, settled at Angers near her chosen friend, 
and thenceforth was of the greatest use to the 

The Count de Neuville erected five distinct 
buildings, for the Community, the penitents, the 
Magdalens, the children of the class of preserva 
tion, and the little orphans ; these buildings are 
separated by walls, and with their gardens and 
enclosures, and the additions since made, form the 
largest religious establishment in France. 

* From notes furnished by the Monastery of Angers. 


Meanwhile, by request of the bishops of the 
several dioceses, Mother Mary of St. Euphrasia 
had sent nuns to make foundations at Poitiers, 
Grenoble and Metz. 

Father Eudes writings quickened the zeal of 
his holy daughter ; she sought to gain a share of 
his creative spirit ; she invoked him with confi 
dence, and a story is still told that while she was 
at Tours, mistress of the penitents, a wreath of 
nasturtiums, which she put round his picture on 
the day of his fete, retained its freshness for a 
\vhole month. It must have seemed to her that 
the revered father was exhorting her to persevere 
in the purpose which was gradually taking posses 
sion of her heart ; she waited with a zeal and hu 
mility like his own, to see if our Lord would use 
her as the instrument of His divine mercy. 

But when she had seen the working of His 
Hand at Angers, she formed the plan of a gene- 
ralate, the only means of turning the material 
progress and rapidity of communication of the 
present day, to account in promoting the glory of 
God and the salvation of mankind. She prayed 
fervently, and distrusting her own self, she con 
sulted her sisters, her friends, and all who were 
fit to give her advice. 

Indications of the Divine "Will were not want 
ing ; on one occasion a Jesuit Father, preaching 
in the Convent Chapel, suddenly exclaimed, " 
thou little Bethlehem of Judah, thou shalt send 
forth numerous branches which shall cover the 
whole world." 

At last, fearful lest she might be resisting grace, 
she opened her mind to Mgr. Montault, who fully 
entered into her ideas, and in conjunction with 
his venerable colleagues, the Bishops of Poitiers, 
Grenoble, and Metz, presented to his Holiness 
Pope Gregory XVI., a petition for the erection of 
the generalate. At the same time Mgr. Cesbron 


do la Roche, the Count de Neuville, and the Conn- 
tess of Andigne, wrote to Rome supporting this 
petition, and promising to contribute to the ex 
penses of the work in hand. 

The Generalate was viewed by different Cardi 
nals, Counsellors of the Sacred Congregation, and 
Religious deeply versed in the things of God, as a 
most powerful means for the salvation of thou 
sands of souls. 

On the report of Cardinal Sala, a favourable 
decree was issued by the Sacred Congregation, on 
the 9th of January, 1835, and on the. third of 
April this was followed by a pontifical brief, signed 
by Cardinal Gregorio, of which we give an ana 

The first article decides that the house at 
Angers, and all houses founded by it, shall ob 
serve the rules laid down by Father Eudes, and 
approved by the Holy See. 

The second establishes a Superior-General. 

The third defines her position. 

The fourth requires a nomination to be made 
every six years, and permits the same Superior- 
General to be re-elected indefinitely. 

The fifth lays down the form of election. 

The sixth empowers the Superior-General, as 
sisted by her council, to nominate local superiors. 

The seventh ordains that the Congregation of 
Angers shall continue to wear the habit used in 
the old monasteries of the Refuge, but that a blue 
cord shall be substituted for the white girdle, and 
the figure of the Good Shepherd engraved on the 
silver heart worn by the nuns. 

The eighth and last confirms in favour of the 
Congregation of Angers, all privileges and favours 
granted by the Holy See, to the old monasteries 
of the Refuge. 

The new order was now established under the 
name of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shep- 


herd of Angers, having for its protector Cardinal 
Odescalchi, who was succeeded by Cardinal Pa- 

But never while she lived would Mother Mary 
of St. Euphrasia, allow herself to be called a foun 
dress ; she said that her mission had merely been 
to develop the work of Father Eudes ; she never 
thought of assuming any authority over the order 
she had left, and continued until her last breath 
attached to it by sentiments of the most ardent 
and pious affection ; in speaking of the religious 
life, she constantly reverted to the origin and the 
traditions of our Lady of Charity of the Kefuge. 

Her words came from a heart overflowing with 
respect, love, and veneration for the good mothers 
who had guided her first steps in that life, and 
she has bequeathed the same sentiments to the 
daughters who now deplore her loss. We have 
been deeply touched by their words, and would 
gladly transmit to others the impression left on 
our own minds. 

The foundation at Angers comprises eight dif 
ferent departments ; the Community, the Magda- 
lens, the Penitents, the class of Preservation, the 
Orphans, Boarders, Prisoners, and those whose 
term of imprisonment has expired, and who live 
in the house of Nazareth, near Angers. 

1st. The Community numbers 300 between 
nuns and novices ; they are French, Italian, Bel 
gian, German, and Irish. Spiritual assistance in 
their native language is provided for all, and there 
is a novice mistress for each nation. 

2nd. However great the virtue of a penitent 
may be, the rule never permits her to enter the 
Order, but many of these rescued ones long^ to 
spend the remainder of a life, whose beginning 
Las been so stormy and troubled, in the peace and 
quiet of the cloister. For their sakes Mother 
Mary of St. Euphrasia opened within the monas- 


tery-enclosure a charming asylum for Magdalens, 
that is to say, for those who, having spent some 
time among the penitents, or coming from a dis 
tance, wish to devote themselves entirely to God. 
They make the three vows of religion, say the 
little Office of the Blessed Virgin, wear a habit of 
the same colour as that of the Carmelites, sleep 
on a mattress, are cloistered, live as religious, and 
employ themselves in needle- work. 

3rd. The system pursued with regard to the 
Penitents is the same which we have already 
described in speaking of the monasteries of the 

4th. The class of Preservation consists of young 
girls, who would have been in danger of losing 
their innocence had they remained in the world. 

5th. The Orphans are little girls from four to 
twelve years of age, and are formed into two 

6th. Some young persons who have been ad 
mitted as boarders, receive a simple but most 
careful education in the monastery. 

7th and 8th. As the rule permits the religious 
to labour for the conversion of penitents, and also 
of women entrusted to them by the civil authority, 
the worthy superior obtained permission to extend 
her charity to young girls undergoing imprison 
ment. In conformity with the views of the min 
ister, she established an agricultural colony near 
the town ; the young prisoners are occupied in 
field and farm work, the care of the poultry-yard, 
and household duties. At certain hours they re 
ceive instruction from the choir-sisters. 

But many of the poor girls, on the expiration of 
their sentence, were not considered thoroughly re 
formed, others had no relations, or would have 
had to return to depraved homes, therefore Mother 
Mary of St. Euphrasia, in her inexhaustible cha 
rity, gave them a refuge in the beautiful old abbey 


of St. Nicholas, bought by the Community in 

Every member of each of these eight bands is 
taught to venerate Father Endes ; the good done 
and the benefits received are all ascribed to him, 
and his picture hangs in the chapter houses and 
community rooms. 

Let us add that twenty negresses have received 
Loly baptism, and the moat affectionate and judi 
cious care in this house ; some of them have died 
holy deaths, and those who remain are leading 
good and industrious lives. 

Before we speak of the death of Mother Mary of 
St. Euphrasia, Superior of the Order of our Lady 
of Charity of the Good Shepherd at Augers, we 
will give a list of her foundations. 


Angers, 1829. Poitiers, 1833. Grenoble, 
1833. Metz, 1834. Sunmur, 1835. Nancy, 
1835. Amiens, 1836. Lille, 1836. Le Puy, 
1837. Strasbourg, 1837. Sens, 1837. Reims, 
1837. Aries, 1837. Chambery, 1839. Perpig- 
nan, 1839. Bourges, 1839. Nice, 1839. Avig 
non, 1839. Paris, (Conflans-Charenton,) 1841. 
Toulon, 1841. Lyons, 1842. Dole, 1844. 
Loos, (near Lille,) 1815. Saint Omer, 1845. 
Moulins, 1845. Angouleme, 1846. Annonay, 
1850. Arras, 1852. Nazareth, (near Angers,) 
1852. Cbolet, 1859. Orleans, I860. Bnstia, 
I860. Ecully, (near Lyons,) 1867. Total, 33. 


Rome, (via Lungara,) 1838. Mons, 1839. 
London, (Hammersmith,) 1840. Namur, 1840. 
Munich, 1840. Rome, (alia Lauretana,) 1840. 
Algiers, 1843. Louisville, (Kentucky, United 

316 APPENDIX ir. 

States,) 1843. Turin, 1843. Montreal, (Canada,) 
1844. Imola, 1845. Cairo, (Egypt,) 1846. 
Limerick, 1848. Aix la Ghapelle, 1848. St. 
Louis, (Missouri, U. S.) 1849. Philadelphia, 
(U. S.) 1850. Miinster, 1850. Glasgow, 1851. 
Miserghin, (Oran,) 1851. Bristol, 1851. 
Neudorf, (near Yieuna,) 1853. Mayence, 1854. 
Bangalore, (Mysore, East Indies,) 1854. 
Bologna, 1854. Constantine, 1855. San-Felipe 
d Aconcagua, (Chili,) 1855. Baumgartenberg, 
(near Linz, Austria,) 1856. Santiago, (Chili,) 
1857. Modena, 1857. Cincinnati, (U. S.,) 1857. 
Genoa, 1857. Troves, 1857. New York, 1857. 
Reggio, (Emilia,) 1857. Berlin, 1858. Wa- 
terford, 1858. Liverpool, 1858. Forli, (Italy,) 
1858. Malta, 1858. Gratz, (Austria,) 1858. 
New Orleans, (U. S.,) 1859. Chicago, (Illinois,) 
1859. Breslau, 1859. Valparaiso, (Chili,) 1860. 
Leyendorp, (Holland,) 1860. New Boss, (Ire 
land,) I860. Capua, I860. La Serena, (Chili,) 
1861. EUmansdorff, (Bavaria,) 1861. Viterbo, 
1862. Cologne, 1862. Faenza, 1863. Cincin 
nati, 1863. Monza, 1863. Port-Said, (Egypt,) 

1863. Melbourne, (Australia,) 1863. Talca, 
(Chili,) 1863. Santiago, (Chili, monastery of St. 
Rose,) 1864. Baltimore, (U. S.,) 1864. Lonvain, 

1864. Columbus, (Ohio, U. S.,) 1865. Suez, 
1865. Vellore, (Madras,) 1865. Rangoon, Bir- 
mah. Cincinnati, Louisville, (U. S.) London, 
Brook Green, 1866. Brussels, 1866. Manches 
ter, 1867. Boston, (U. S.,) 1867. Vienna, 
1867. Belfast, 1867. West Philadelphia, (U. S.) 
Aden, (Arabia.) Altstetten, St. Gall, (Switzer 
land.) St. Paul, Minnesota, (IT. S.) Brooklyn, 
(U. S.,) 1868. Tertibut, near Namur, 1868. 
Colombo, (Ceylon,) 1869. Cleveland, <U. S.,) 
1869. Finchley, (near London,) 1869. Mon- 
trenl, (Canada,) 1870. Cork, 1870. Montreal, 
1870. Quito, 1871. Lima, 1871. Cardiff, 1872. 


Indianapolis, (U.S.,) 1873. Total, 89. The 
number of monasteries of the order throughout 
the world is 122. 

With such antecedents the nuns of the order of 
Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, repre 
sented by the general chapter convoked at Angers 
for the election of the second superior-general, 
have presented to the Sovereign Pontiff a petition 
for the introduction of the cause of their founder, 
Father Eudes. 

The mother-house of Angers, so small 
beginnings, has made 122 foundations, 33 of 
which are in France, 5 in Holland and Belgium, 
14 in Italy, 12 in Germany and Austria, 12 in 
England, Ireland, and Scotland, 9 in Asia, 8 iii 
Africa, 29 in North and South America; its in 
mates are 1,100 in number, and 2,000 nuns 
belong to the order. 

The day of rest and reward was at last drawing 
near for Mother Mary of St. Euphrasia. Not 
withstanding all her manifold labours, she made 
two journeys to Rome, where Gregory XVI. 
granted her a private audience; she afterwards 
visited all the houses of the order in Europe. 
Since the Holy Father has authorized the forma 
tion of provinces subject to the mother-house, the 
mothers-provincial, appointed by the superior- 
general, visit the houses in their respective pro- 


In 1868 it was seen that the Reverend Mother 
was suffering more than commonly ; but her 
courage gave false hopes to the nuns. Her weak 
ness increased, and she was hardly able to take 
any nourishment; nevertheless, on the loth of 
March, her fete, she made an effort and joined 
them in the refectory. She went out the next day 
for the last time, in a little invalid chair, to visit 
her favourite haunts ; the hand of death was upon 


ber, and day by day she faded away. Ifc was vain 
to beg ber to take care of berself, sbe was deter 
mined to keep up to tbe last and to die in bar- 
ness. As long as it was possible sbe took her 
place in tbe community-room in tbe midst of ber 
children, exhorting them and speaking to them of 
things past, present, and future. 

She used to gaze on them long and earnestly, 
as if to take a last farewell. Soon her sufferings 
became so great that she was unable to leave her 
room. But ber heroic courage, sustained by tbe 
Holy Father s blessing, never failed for a moment. 

A few hours before her agony began she blessed 
a colony of her daughters who were setting off for 
Aden, and sent the following message to Mgr. 
Callot, Bishop of Oran : " One of the last sighs 
of my heart sends you a superior for our dear 
monastery of Miserghin." 

The Bishop of Angers pronounced the last 
blessing, and, surrounded by ber sorrowing 
daughters, the superior-general expired on tbe 
24th of April, 1868, aged almost seventy-two 

She was buried within tbe monastery enclosure. 
Sixty ecclesiastics and representatives of all tbe 
communities in the city, assisted at her funeral, 
which .will long be remembered by all who were 

Great during life, sbe wag yet greater in death, 
and on ber entrance into ber heavenly homo she 
might have said : " I have glorified Thee upon 
earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest 
me to do." 

The chapter-general for tbe election of a new 
superior-general met at Angers on Thursday, the 
8th of October ; it consisted of ninety-five mem 
bers, amongst whom were provincials and superiors 
from all parts of tbe world, Mgr. Angebault, 
Bishop of Angers, presided, aiid Mother Mary of 


St. Peter Coudenhove, who had been first assist 
ant to the late superior-general, and had enjoyed 
Ler confidence, was chosen to succeed her. 

The prioresses present at this chapter were 
anxious to draw yet closer the links that bound 
them to the mother-house, where the remains of 
her who had trained them all, repose. They 
wished to bear their part in the work undertaken by 
Father Eudes sons, and, thanks to their care, 
prayers for its success arise to heaven in many 
different tongues. We may truly say now, when 
all earthly powers are threatened, when thrones 
are tottering, when all that is not God s, or sup 
ported by God, is passing away : " Deposuit 
potentes de sede, exaltavit humiles." 

The limits of our space have obliged us to omit 
much ; we have had to choose among the sweetest 
flowers, leaving many ungathered. 

Nevertheless, we hope that we have given ample 
proof that the same characteristic marks Father 
Eudes works and those of his spiritual children; 
they are all alike durable, for they fulfil the three 
necessary conditions on which we have enlarged at 
the conclusion of his life ; they are manifold in 
their nature; they are one in their object; they 
have a solid foundation, being founded on the 
divine Hearts to which we have dedicated this 
book, the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. 


Our task is done, our readers will judge if we 
have that love for our saint, which Mgr. Dupan- 
loup declares is necessary in a hagiographer. But 


our love has not led us in any way to depart from 

We have related the deeds of this valiant son 
of the Church, and if we had ever seen weakness 
in him we should have said so. 

Moreover, falsehood hetrays itself; the story 
hecomes confused; the facts do not hang together; 
the brush trembles in the painter s hands; his 
touch loses its boldness, and his work becomes 
mediocre because nature has not been his model. 

Truth is the very essence of everything pertain 
ing to religion ; " to veil it, to withhold it, to 
desert it under pretence of serving religion, the 
supreme truth, would be," says M. de Montalem- 

beft, "adding sacrilege to falsehood A lying 

panegyric is hateful as an invective calumny."* 

These words fully express our sentiment, and 
we conclude with the humble and fervent prayer, 
Nos cum Prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria. 

* Moines d Occident. 


BX 4700 .E78 M6513 1883 


Montzey, Charles de, 

Life of the venerable 

John Eudes : with a 
AWU-9976 (mcsk)